Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup (for a Chilly Night)

1 C sweet onion, chopped (about one medium)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, diced

3 T butter

3 (14oz) cans fire roasted tomatoes –  OR 2 ½ lbs. ripe tomatoes (about three very large) core removed and diced large

1 t agave nectar or maple syrup

1 t sea salt

1½ C chicken broth, preferably homemade

½ C dry white wine

½ C heavy cream

½ C fresh basil leaves, chopped – optional

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium-sized stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook until onion becomes translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute or two. Increase the heat, add the tomatoes, agave nectar and salt and cook, stirring constantly for about a minute, until the tomatoes begin to bubble. Add the chicken broth and wine (the alcohol from the wine will evaporate during cooking), bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the stockpot partially with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a blender (in batches) with the top vented, or in a food processor. Return the soup to the pot and add the cream, heat through. Serve garnished with chopped basil. Serves 6.

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