1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves, for garnish – I use 4 cups of basil and add ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (DJH)
3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream (can use whole milk - DJH)
Croutons, for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and sauté for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.
Add the cream/milk to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that's left. (I just run a stick blender through it. The seeds and skins give good flavor - DJH) Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and/or croutons.