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Recipe: Fresh tomato soup

MIX IT UP: A variety of tomatoes works best.
MIX IT UP: A variety of tomatoes works best.
(Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Fresh tomato soupTotal time: 55 minutesServings: Makes 8 to 10 cups2 tablespoons olive oil2 tablespoons butter1 large onion, diced4 shallots, diced1 large carrot, peeled and minced1 stalk celery with leaves, minced2 tablespoons minced fennel bulb4 cloves garlic, minced (or more to taste)3 pounds mixed ripe tomatoes, diced with juices reserved2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice1 tablespoon sugar1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika1 tablespoon gin Kosher salt1 to 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth1/2 cup cream, optional Freshly ground black pepper16 large basil leaves, sliced crosswise into thin ribbons, for garnish1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots, carrot, celery and fennel and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute until aromatic.2. Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, along with the lemon juice, sugar, paprika, gin and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomato liquid reduces and the mixture has thickened slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly.3. Transfer the vegetables, in batches, to a blender jar and puree until smooth, then return to the pot. Add the broth, one cup at a time, until the soup reaches desired consistency, stirring to thoroughly combine.4. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the cream if desired and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and black pepper. Garnish each serving with basil.Each of 10 servings: 95 calories; 2 grams protein; 10 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 5 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 6 mg. cholesterol; 262 mg. sodium.


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