4 slices good-quality, crusty bread (each about 1 inch thick)
salt and pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
3 14-ounce cans of tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups vegetable stock
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup heavy cream
To make the croutons, cut the bread slices into 1 inch cubes.
In a bowl, toss the bread cubes with salt and pepper and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Spread the cubes out evenly on a baking sheet.
Toast in a 350 degree oven turning several times during cooking until they are golden on all sides.
Set aside to cool on cooling racks.
To make the soup, melt the butter with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-low heat in a pot.
Add the onion and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic and cook for one minute longer.
Sprinkle with flour and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and stock.
Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.
Cook for 30 minutes.
Add the ground cloves, curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender.
Pour through a coarse strainer into a clean pot over low heat.
Stir in the cream and allow the soup to re-heat thoroughly without coming to a boil.
Serve hot topped with the croutons.
Makes 6 servings