This recipe serves six - unless you're a percussionist
... in that case, it serves 1, six times.
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cups chicken broth
28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
(Reserve the juice)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
~ In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, and red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are quite soft, about 10 minutes.
~ Add the broth, tomatoes, thyme, basil, ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper, and 1 cup water.
~ Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
~ Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.
~ Discard the thyme sprig.
~ Let cool briefly and then puree the soup in two or three batches in a blender.
~ Rinse the pot and return the soup to the pot.
~ If it is too thick, add some of the reserve tomato juice.
~ Reheat if necessary and season to taste with salt and pepper.
~ Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a sprinkling of ground pepper if desired.