Cream of Sun-dried Tomato Soup

submitted by butterflydog

1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock (or chicken stock for a non-vegetarian
4 cups (1 L) chopped ripe tomatoes or canned Italian tomatoes, drained
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup (125 ml) sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried
1 cup (250 ml) milk, half and half, or heavy cream
Sugar, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped chives for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the onion,
celery, carrot, and garlic and saute until tender but not brown, about 5
minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes, potato, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil.
Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 20 minutes, until the vegetables
are tender. Puree in a food processor or blender in small batches until
smooth, straining through a fine sieve if desired. Stir in the milk or
cream and season with sugar, salt, and pepper. Serve garnished with
chopped chives. Serves 6 to 8.
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