l large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
(or use 1/4 tsp dried minced for each clove)
2 - 28 to 32 oz cans tomatoes
(I used “ready-cut” to keep it simple)
32 oz bottle fire roasted (or sun-dried) tomatoes
(Costco has them reasonably priced in larger quantities)
2 - 8 oz cans tomato sauce
2 - 6 oz cans tomato paste
8 cups water
(I added 8 - 10 chicken bouillon cubes for more flavor)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups milk or cream (more if you like a thinner soup)
In a large soup kettle saute onion in olive oil until almost translucent. Add garlic and continue to saute a few minutes more. Add tomatoes, sauce and paste - along with water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Puree in blender until desired consistency.
Note: careful with hot soup in blender
(If you like chunkier soups, hold back on one of the batches in the blender - leaving it chunkier) Add milk or cream and seasonings and continue to simmer for another 5 or 10 minutes.
At Paradise Cafe, they drizzle the bowl of soup with thinned sour cream, then top with tortilla strips. Keep a squeeze bottle in your refrigerator to top bowls of soup with little mess.