This may be one of the easiest soups in the world and one of the few places where spaghetti sauce in a jar works beautifully.
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 large onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 cup red wine
1 48-ounce jar good-quality, non-meat spaghetti sauce
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
½ cup finely chopped fresh basil or 2 tablespoons dried
Note: Save out a little of the fresh, if you are using it, for garnish before serving
2 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the butter in a soup pot. Add the garlic and onions and sauté until they are golden.
2. Pour in the red wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add the spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, and half of the fresh or dried basil; simmer very slowly uncovered for 1 hour.
4. Add the half and half and the heavy cream; continue to simmer over low heat for a few more minutes. Do not let the soup boil. Add the remaining fresh or dried basil, salt and pepper to taste.
5. Ladle into soup bowls, sprinkle with the fresh basil, and serve immediately.
Adapted from Joan Nathan’s The New American Cooking