1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes (about 8 pieces, do not use oil packed variety)

1 small onion, diced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups chicken stock

3 sweet or bell peppers, charred, skinned and seeded or a 6-ounce jar of prepared roasted red sweet peppers

2 fresh ripe plum tomatoes, cut into eighths

salt and pepper to taste

4 fresh basil leaves for garnish (use purple basil if available)


Rehydrate the dried tomatoes by soaking them in warm water for 1 hour.  Meanwhile, sweat the onion in the olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, uncovered, for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Do not let the onion color.  Add the stock, rehydrated tomatoes, roasted peppers, fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper and let it all simmer together for 10 minutes.  Pour the soup into a blender and process at a high speed for 4 minutes, until very smooth.  Then pass it through a strainer to remove the vegetables skins.  Adjust the seasoning and serve with fresh basil leaves as a garnish.