Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

1 medium onion, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon sugar or 1/2 t Stevia

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 bulb fennel, thinly sliced

2 stalks celery with leaves, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes

1 28-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes

3 cups stock

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  1. Over a medium heat, sauté the onion and sugar in olive oil until slightly browned, about 8 or 9 minutes.  Stir frequently to keep from sticking.

  2. Add garlic, fennel and celery and cook another 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.

  3. Add basil, salt, pepper, celery salt, and thyme, stirring to incorporate with onion mix.

  4. Add tomatoes and stock. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil.  Once it starts boiling, turn heat back to simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

  5. Purée soup with an immerser or in a blender until velvety smooth.  Adjust seasonings.

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1. Make it creamy: Add 1 cup cream or milk of choice when soup is done. Turn off heat.

2. Allium free: Omit onion and garlic. Use entire fennel bulb and follow directions for onions.

3. Add a garnish:Add croutons, chopped basil or chives or a few roasted grape tomatoes to each bowl before serving.

4. Make it cheesy:Grate a bit of Parmesan Cheese over each bowl before serving.

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