Tomato Basil Soup à la Jean

Prep Time:  30 min
Cook Time:  40 min
Ready In:  70 min
Servings:  6 people

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INGREDIENTS:

3½ pounds of ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped onion
1½ cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
1½ cups finely shredded Gruyére or Emmentaler cheese (6 oz)
½ cup whipping cream

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DIRECTIONS:

1.  Peel all but one tomato. To make peeling easier, dip in boiling water for about 30 seconds or until skins start to split.  Then dip in cold water.

2.  Allow tomatoes to cool, then remove skins and coarsely chop.

3.  In a 4-quart Dutch oven, melt butter, add garlic to melted butter, and cook for approximately 30 seconds.

4.  Add onion and cook for 4-5 minutes. Then add chopped tomatoes and allow to come to a boil.

5.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer covered, for approximately 30 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally.

6.  Transfer tomato mixture in parts to a food processor. Process until smooth and transfer back to pan.

7.  Finely chop basil. Set aside ¼ cup of chopped basil. Stir remaining basil, salt, and pepper into mixture.

8.  Heat through and proceed to add cheese and cream. Continue heat and stir mixture until cheese is melted.

9.  Chop remaining tomato and combine with remaining ¼ cup of basil. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with chopped tomato and basil. Serve!