Basil Tomato Soup

Yield: 8 Servings




5 strips of bacon, diced

1 rib celery, chopped

½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped

1 small carrot, peeled and diced

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced

1 green pepper, cored, seeded and diced

6 fresh basil leaves, chopped and divided

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes

1 tablespoon chicken base

1 cup half and half




Cook bacon in a stockpot.  Drain all but 1-2 tablespoons drippings.  Add celery, onion, and carrot and cook 2 minutes.  Add peppers, half of the basil and garlic, cook for 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and simmer over medium heat, 5 minutes.  Add the chicken base and stir to dissolve.  Transfer mixture to blender and puree in batches.  Return to the stockpot.  Add half and half and remaining basil.  Simmer over medium heat for approximately 45 minutes.  Top with croutons and freshly chopped basil.