2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 large onion chopped
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp vodka
2 tbsp all purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 (26-ounce) jar strained tomatoes
1 tablespoons sugar
1 carrot, grated
¼ - ½ cup chopped basil (optional, depending on how much you like basil)
½ cup cream or half and half
Salt and pepper
In a large pot, preferably stainless steel or enamel coated, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, add the onions and shredded carrot to the pan and cook over medium heat, with a lid, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more, stirring to be sure garlic does not burn. Next add the vodka and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until the alcohol is cooked out. Add the flour to the pan and continue cooking and stirring for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, sugar, basil (if using) and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom or sides of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Using a hand-held immersion blender, purée the soup until very smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, let the soup cool slightly and purée in batches in a blender. Leave a crack when placing the lid on the blender for steam to escape. Stir in the cream or half and half. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
This soup will just make you happy. Let me know what you think. And as always, Eat Delicious, or Mangialicious!