3 tablespoons of butter.
1 large sweet onion diced.
6 large heirloom tomatoes
1 large sweet pepper diced – choice of color. Remove seeds
2 minced cloves of garlic
3 stalks of celery chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
15-20 basil piece
1 cup of milk or half-and-half – your choice.
3 tablespoons red wine – optional
In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt 3 tbsp butter
Add in the onion, sweet pepper, the 2 minced cloves of garlic, and the celery. Stir and sauté for 5 minutes, until the veggies are soft.
Chop half a dozen large tomatoes
Add to the pan – the pan should be about 3/4 full. Add the salt, ground fresh black pepper, thyme, oregano, and the optional 3 tbsp red wine – stir well, cover and bring to a simmer (tomatoes will reduce, pan will have juice).
Reduce heat and partially cover – simmer for 30 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Add lots of the fresh basil leaves (15-20) torn into pieces – using an immersion blender, purée the soup – it will be quite smooth. Add 1 cup milk or half-and-half or a mixture of each equaling a cup, as you prefer.
Serve hot with crusty bread with grated sharp cheddar.