3 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
4 large, ripe tomatoes
2 tsp dried basil or 1/2 C lightly packed fresh basil
3/4 tsp beet sugar
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 can vegetable broth
Boil enough water to cover the tomatoes. Blanch the tomatoes until their skins will pull off easily. Seed and coarsely chop the tomatoes. I've tried not seeding, but then it's too watery and lacks flavor.
Over medium heat in a 3 quart pan, sauté the onion and carrot. Cook until onion is soft, stirring often. Stir in tomatoes, basil, sugar and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Note: Don't fret over using dried basil--it's the only way I make it!
Whirl soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add broth and season with salt. Heat to steaming and serve with saltines.
Note to non-vegans: I know a lot of meat-eaters surf onto this page. If you are tempted to use chicken broth in this recipe, please reconsider.