Tomato Basil Soup
4 cups (8 to 10) tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped or 4 cups canned (the large can) of crushed tomatoes - I usually use the canned
3 cups tomato juice
2 cups chicken stock
12 to 14 washed fresh basil leaves
1 cup heavy cream (sometimes I use half and half - both are good)
1/4 cup sweet butter
salt to taste
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
Combine tomatoes, juice and stock in a large stock pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree, along with the basil leaves, in small batches, in a blender or use a hand held food blender right in the pan.
Return soup to saucepan if you used the blender and add cream and butter while stirring over low heat. Add salt and pepper. Garnish with extra basil leaves. Serve with your favorite bread.