Fresh basil and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil offer more aroma and let you know this classic kid lunch isn't "kidding around!"
- 2 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes in juice (preferably San Marzano)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided, plus more for drizzling)
- 1 yellow onion (finely diced)
- 2 carrots (peeled and finely diced)
- 2 celery stalks (peeled and finely diced)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves (thinly sliced, for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 300° F. Drain the tomatoes, saving the juice. Place the tomatoes on a foil-lined sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 2 hours, turning occasionally, until deep scarlet red in color.
In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, heat 1⁄4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, remaining 1⁄4 cup olive oil, sugar, garlic salt, pepper flakes, celery salt, and bay leaves. Simmer for about 30 minutes to thicken, stirring occasionally. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until smooth, or transfer to a regular blender and puree.
Serve with an additional drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil leaves.