2medium to large carrots(**use the best you can find, e.g. farmer's market or homegrown)
3poundstomatoes, chopped (**use the very best you can find, e.g. farmer's market or homegrown. If you can't get excellent fresh tomatoes use the best canned tomatoes available, e.g., DOP certified Italian-imported San Marzano tomatoes. Use about 42 ounces of whole canned tomatoes)
1cupheavy cream(vegetarian/vegan: use a creamy non-dairy substitute of choice)
2tablespoonschopped fresh basil OR 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme OR 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary(experiment with whichever herb you prefer)
1/4teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1 1/2teaspoonskosher salt
2teaspoonsbrown sugar(I prefer dark brown for this)
chopped fresh herbs, coarsely ground black pepper for garnish (optional)
Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and garlic and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add the broth, herbs and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Carefully transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth (you'll need to do it in 2 batches depending on the size of your blender). Return the soup to the pot and add the heavy cream. Heat through and add salt and pepper to taste. If desired serve with a sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs and if desired some coarsely ground black pepper.Serves 4-6
Want a soup that's a bit more substantial to serve as a main course? Simply stir in some cooked rice at the end and you'll have a delicious cream of tomato rice soup!