Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
Hearty, wholesome and EASY! I've served it to dinner club as easily as to my family. A small cup makes a wonderful first course, a bowlful with salad and a bread make it a wonderful cold weather meal!
- 1 loaf Italian bread or 1 loaf French bread
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery ribs
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 7 leaves fresh basil, chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 1⁄2 cups canned crushed tomatoes, in puree
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- 3 -4 cups water
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 cup nonfat sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut enough bread into 3/4-inch cubes to measure about 3 cups and arrange in one layer in a shallow baking pan.
- Toast bread in middle of oven until golden and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Finely chop carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.
- In a heavy 4- to 5-quart kettle cook chopped vegetables, garlic, and basil in oil with salt and pepper to taste over moderately low heat, stirring, until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add wine and boil 3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, oregano, and 1 cup water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
- Remove kettle from heat and whisk in heavy cream and sour cream.
- Cool soup 10 minutes.
- In a blender puree soup in batches, transferring as pureed to a large bowl.
- Return soup to kettle and thin to desired consistency with remaining water.
- Season soup with salt and pepper and heat over moderate heat, stirring, until heated through (do not let boil).
- Serve soup ladled over croutons in large bowls.