Tomato Basil Bisque

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1  cup chopped celery
3/4  cup chopped carrots
1/4  cup chopped yellow onion
1  tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1  tablespoon butter
3  cups tomato juice
1  cup chicken broth
1  7-1/2-ounce can tomatoes, cut up
1/2  of a 6-ounce can tomato paste
1  teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2  teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2  teaspoon pepper
1  cup whipping cream
4  teaspoons sugar
1/4  cup snipped fresh basil
2  tablespoons prepared basil pesto
1. In a large saucepan, cook celery, carrots, onion, and garlic in butter until vegetables are tender, but not brown. 

2. Add tomato juice, chicken broth, undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened. 

3. Place half of the soup in a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover; blend or process until smooth. Repeat with remaining mixture. 

4. Return all of the mixture to the saucepan. Stir in whipping cream and sugar; heat through. Stir in fresh basil. Ladle into warm soup bowls. Top each serving with some of the pesto and garnish with fresh basil leaves, if you like. Makes 8 side-dish 

Source: Better Homes & Gardens
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