I added the following spices to kick it up a bit. Obviously, add these to your taste:
- mexican oregano
- smoked chipotle pepper
- Mrs Dash garlic herb salt free blend
- dried cilantro
In a heavy pot on medium high heat, pour in the olive oil and saute onion until translucent. Add the chopped garlic (except for 1 clove) and heat with the onion for about four minutes. Next, add the cans of fire roasted tomatoes including the juice to the pan and cover for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
With the lid off the pan, add the chicken broth and half & half and bring the pot to a simmer. The mixture should start to thicken as it reduces. This should take about 10 minutes. You want the soup to be somewhat thick. If your soup is a bit thin, let it simmer a bit longer while occasionally stirring. When it comes to the right consistency, add the remaining chopped garlic clove and fresh basil (reserve some for a garnish) and season to taste with salt and pepper, and any of the optional seasonings I listed. Lower your heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes more.
Now it’s time to get out your blender. Unless you went with the diced tomatoes and like it chunky, it isn't necessary but go with how chunky or smooth suites you. With a ladel, place the soup mixture in the blender and puree until smooth. You can do this in batches as well. Please use caution when handling the mixture and blender as it could burn your hand as you press down on the lid. Or just use your immersion blender. Blend mixture until all the big chunks are gone, but do not blend until it is very smooth like a bisque.
Serve with a dollup of sour cream and small sprinkle of the reserved basil as a garnish.