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1. Set aside 1 tomato. To peel remaining tomatoes, dip in boiling water for 30 seconds or until skins start to split. Dip in cold water. When cool enough to handle, remove skins and core tomatoes. Coarsely chop; set aside.
2. In a 4-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add the chopped tomatoes. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Transfer tomato mixture in batches to a food processor or food mill. Cover and process until smooth. (If using a food mill, discard tomato seeds and onions.) Return pureed mixture to pan. Meanwhile, finely chop basil; reserve 1/4 cup.
4. Stir remaining basil, the salt, and pepper into tomato mixture. Heat through. Add cheese, cream, and, if desired, Armagnac. Heat and stir until cheese is just melted.
5. Chop remaining tomato; combine with reserved basil. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with chopped tomato and basil. Makes 6 servings.