- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds large ripe tomatoes , cut in half crosswise
- 6 medium bell peppers , cut in half crosswise, ribs and seeds removed
- 2 medium Vidalia onions , cut in half crosswise and peeled
- 2 stalks celery (no leaves), chopped
- 4 cloves garlic , peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt-free seasoning (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 teaspoons each chopped fresh basil and chives and oregano (if substituting dried herbs, use 1 teaspoon each)
- 1 quart homemade chicken broth or store-bought low-sodium broth
Place the mixture in a food processor or blender with some of the chicken broth and pulse the purée to desired thickness. In a soup pot, combine the purée with the remaining chicken broth, sun dried tomato paste, tomato paste and cayenne pepper. Add half of the fresh herbs (if using dried herbs, add them all at this stage) and cook, stirring often, until just simmering. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkling each serving with the rest of the fresh herbs. Garnish with fresh or thawed frozen corn niblets, some fresh basil, cornbread crumble, thinly sliced artichokes or whatever garnish you like.