1. Prepare the soup. Heat oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and carrot, lower heat to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are slightly softened, about 10 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and their juices, broth, salt, sugar, black pepper, and crushed red pepper if using. With a large fork or potato masher, mash tomatoes slightly to break them up a bit. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower to a simmer and cook, covered, until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove soup from heat and puree it using an immersion blender or a blender. (You can leave it a bit chunky if you prefer.) Stir in the basil and buttermilk, and serve at once, or let cool and refrigerate until ready to serve. To reheat, place over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until just heated through; do not boil. The soup may also be served cold.
4. While soup simmers, prepare the cheese straws. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine cheese, flour, salt, and pepper in a food processor, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add oil and process for about 10 seconds; mixture will be crumbly. Add water and pulse for a few seconds, just until the mixture starts to come together in a ball.
5. On a lightly floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle 8 inches long and 12 inches wide with a thickness of about 1?8 inch. Use a knife or pizza cutter and slice in half so there are 2 (4-by-12-inch) rectangles. Cut each into slices about 3?4 inch wide. Transfer carefully to prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1?2 inch between straws. Don't worry if some of them break, as they can really be any length.
6. Bake in preheated oven until straws just begin to turn golden brown, about 11 to 14 minutes. Let cool and serve alongside tomato soup. Cheese straws can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, January - February 2011