Tomato Basil Soup

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Serves 6

5 large beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and diced
5 cups V8 juice
16 fresh basil leaves, whole
¼ cup finely minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 ¼ cups pareve soymilk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) margarine, melted
Salt and pepper to taste
Croutons, for garnish

Place the tomatoes and the juice in a large stockpot over medium heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the basil leaves, onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning, and then puree the tomato mixture with a hand blender. Pour into a slow cooker and set on low. Slowly add the soymilk and then the margarine. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer on low for 1 ½ hours to 2 hours or until the soup has thickened. Do not let the soup boil. Garnish with croutons.

This soup can be made two days ahead of time.

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