I'm no stranger to stews, but soups, well, they can be a little intimidating.
Stews can be chunky, and you can just throw stuff in the pot and let it simmer long enough so that all the flavors blend. But in general, soup should be silky and smooth and have no chunks.
The first time I made tomato basil soup, I didn't strain out the tomato chunks and I was sorry for it. This time, I had learned my lesson and the result was a creamy, silky smooth soup with lots of flavor (and no chunks!).
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can diced or crushed tomato (28 oz)
2 cups chicken broth
2-3 tbsp chopped basil
1/2 cup heavy cream or half&half
salt to taste
In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil.
Add the tomato and basil and simmer for a few minutes.
Add the chicken broth and simmer for another 5-6 minutes.
Remove from heat, and strain the soup through a sieve.
Add cream to strained soup and season with salt to taste.
Serve with basil garnish.
Note: don't throw away that tomato left in your strainer. You can use it as a sauce for pasta or as a dip for calzones.