Cream of Tomato Basil Soup

2 (28oz) cans whole tomatoes (reserve juice)
2 Tbls. Brown sugar
4 Tbls. Butter
2 Tbls. Tomato paste
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 Tbls. Flour
2 cans chicken stock
2 Red Bell peppers (roasted)- fresh or in a jar
1 cup pesto
1 ½ cups half and half

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil. Squeeze out seeds and arrange tomatoes on baking sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake until liquid is evaporated and tomatoes caramelize (about 30 min). Heat butter, onion, and tomato paste. Saute until onions soften. Add flour and cook for 1 min. Gradually add chicken stock and reserved tomato liquid. Bring to a boil. Puree tomatoes and peppers in blender until smooth. (Add a little of the liquid from the pot to help the blending process) Return to stove top and simmer for 15 min. Five min. before serving add pesto and half and half.

Very delicious when served with grilled cheese, bacon and granny smith apple sandwiches on sourdough bread!

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