1/4 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tomatoes peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped. (or one 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice)
2 tblsp shopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup whole milk
salt and white pepper
4-6 tblsp basil pesto – optional
In a large saucepan over medium heat heat the olive oil. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and saute until the vegetables are softened, about 5minutes longer. Add the garlic and saute for a minute longer.
Reduce the heat to low. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is incorporated and the mixture is thickened, 1-2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, basil, tomato paste, sugar, and stock and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until all of the vegetables are tender and the flavors are well blended. About 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a handheld or standing blender, coarsely puree the soup, making sure to leave some texture. Stir in the milk and reheat gently over medium low-heat. Do not allow the soup to boil or it may separate. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and swirl in 1 tablespoon of pesto.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma “Soup & Stew”