Tomato Basil Soup

On days when you don’t feel like eating heavy dinner, soups are my go to food.They are filled with flavor and yet are so light on the stomach.
Preparation time: 2 hours(slow cook method),30 minutes(stove top)
Serving: 6 cups

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
4 cloves of garlic
10 large, very ripe tomatoes(any tomatoes or puree of your choice, about 5-6 cups chopped)
1 bunch of fresh basil
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
3 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable if you’re vegetarian)
2 green chilies(optional)
1/2 Tablespoon sea salt
1/2 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup of cream(optional)

1.In a pan, pour in the olive oil with the stove heat set to low.

2.Add the onions, carrots and celery to saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
3.Add the minced garlic and red peppers to saute for one more minute and puree them in a grinder.
4.In the same pan take the tomatoes( I used cherry tomatoes because they were the only ones i found that were ripe enough), add 1 teaspoon of oregano and saute until tomatoes are soft and start leaving juices.
5.Add the basil(and green chili if you like it spicier) and saute till soft.Place the tomatoes and basil into a food processor or a grinder until no big pieces are left. 
6.Pour all of the tomato puree and vegetable mixture in a slow cooker, add 2 cups of vegetable/chicken broth, sugar, salt and pepper, Stir and slow cook for 2 hours. Slow cooking will make the flavors from the vegetables develop. If you don’t have a slow cooker, cook on stovetop on very low flame for about 45 minutes.
7.After 2 hours open the cooker,taste and adjust your salt or pepper.
You can have this soup as is or if you prefer a finer texture run it through a strainer or juicer.
Add cream if you like a creamier soup.
This soup goes well with a piece of toasted bread or grilled cheese sandwich or croutons on the top.

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