2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots — diced
6 ounces tomato paste
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 1⁄2 tablespoons sugar
3 pounds tomatoes — approx. 6 large, peeled, chopped
16 ounces tomato sauce
32 ounces low sodium chicken broth
Fresh basil — chopped, for garnish
Heat butter and olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and sauté shallots until translucent, about 2 – 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, crushed red pepper and sugar and sauté for 2 minutes more.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Puree soup with a hand held blender or in a food processor or blender and strain thru a stainless steel strainer. Pour back into pot, bring back to a simmer and season to taste with salt and bouillon cube; let bouillon cube melt before serving.
Serve garnish with fresh basil, if desired. Great with a grilled cheese sandwich.
NOTES: Serve with parmesean crisps floated on top
To make parmesean crisps: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place 1 T. scoops of parmesean 2" apart on baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 5 – 6 minutes or until cheese melts, spreads slightly and browns. Cheese will crisp when it cools. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
My husband likes when I add a beef bouillon cube to this soup but it adds about 300mg of sodium.