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I got this recipe from my friend Ann and then tweaked it quite a bit. It is as good as any soup you will eat in a restaurant. Everyone who tastes it wants more. It is that good! You can use prepared marinara sauce, or make your own.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 31/2 cups half-and-half
  • 11/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes or 8 to 10 small vine-ripened tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook and stir for 5 minutes to slightly brown the mixture. Whisk in the broth. Increase the heat and cook and stir until thickened. Decrease the heat to low, stir in the half-and-half, and simmer for 20 minutes.

  2. Stir in the marinara sauce, tomatoes, and basil, and cook until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve as is chunky-style, or puree in a food processor or blender if you prefer a smooth soup.

Can be made Meatless. Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.