CREAMY TOMATO BASIL SOUP
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 31/2 cups half-and-half
- 11/2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes or 8 to 10 small vine-ripened tomatoes (diced)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- Coarse salt and ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook and stir for 5 minutes to slightly brown the mixture. Whisk in the broth. Increase the heat and cook and stir until thickened. Decrease the heat to low, stir in the half-and-half, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in the marinara sauce, tomatoes, and basil, and cook until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve as is chunky-style, or puree in a food processor or blender if you prefer a smooth soup.
Can be made Meatless. Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.