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“I've never met a tomato soup I didn't like. It looks rustic, it feels rich and it tastes, well, honest. Here's a base that's beautiful just on its own—I like freezing a couple batches to have on hand—and three vibrant garnish options, if you feel like mixing things up a little.”
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot and basil. Season with salt, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not colored, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until aromatic. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes then add the tomatoes and chicken stock, and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes to break down the tomatoes and blend the flavors.
Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender and blend until smooth (or leave part of it chunky); return the soup to a new pan. Spoon into bowls and serve with your choice of garnish.