Cream of Tomato Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large shallots, chopped
2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes or 3 pounds fresh, with juice
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, or 3/4 fresh
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch cayenne pepper, optional
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
fresh basil leaves, for garnish
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter and oil together over medium
heat. Add the shallots and cook slowly for about 10 minutes or
until soft. Add the tomatoes, thyme, and chicken broth, bring to
a simmer, and stew slowly, covered for about 20 minutes.
Take off the heat and puree the soup.
Add the baking soda, sugar, cream, and cayenne. Heat the soup for
serving, but don't let it boil. Taste for seasoning and serve in
warmed soup bowls. Grind some pepper on top and add a few snips
of fresh basil if available. Minced lemon zest with parsley is
another delicious option.