You can simply scald the tomatoes in hot water for 1 minute, so as to be able to peel them with ease. Or you can put the tomatoes on the hot grill, making sure to turn them on all sides, for 5 minutes. This technique also ensuring that the skin would easily come off. If you use canned tomatoes or passata, jump to step 2.
Remove the woody inside of the tomatoes with a knife. Put the peeled tomatoes in a pot and cover them with 1 liter (1/4 gallon) of water. You can use as liquid vegetable or even chicken stock, too. Add the bay leaves, the thyme stem and the basil one and just a pinch of salt. Bring all to boil. In you choose to use passata or canned tomatoes, just bring them together with the liquid in a pot and add the herbs and salt.
Meanwhile, peel, wash and dice the vegetables in small bits and crush the garlic. Heat the oil in another pot and add all vegetables at once. Cook the diced veggies until soft, at low temperature. When the vegetables are soft, add about a cup of hot water (200 ml.) and continue to boil.
After approx. 10 minutes of boiling, remove the pot with the tomatoes from the hob. Take out the bay leaves and thyme. Mash the tomatoes using the stick blender (you could also pass them through a sieve, especially if someone in your family is allergic to the seeds).
Add the mashed tomatoes over the simmered vegetables and fill with water until you reach the desired consistency. The soup can either be creamier or more liquid – depends on how you like it. Season the soup with a tablespoon of sugar (necessary to balance the acidity of the tomatoes), salt and pepper to taste.
Keep boiling the tomato soup until the vegetables reach the desired consistency. As I prefer, I keep their texture a bit crispy, rather than be very soft. If you wish, you can also mash the vegetables in the soup, and then you would get a creamy texture.
According to my taste, I prefer this tomato soup more than with anything else with toasted bread seasoned with garlic and a drop of olive oil. The soup can be served with small pasta, if you prefere.Boil the pasta (some very tiny ones) in about 2 l of salted water according to the instructions on the packaging. Strain the pasta and refresh them with some cold water. Mix with a drop of oil to prevent them from becoming sticky and keep aside, adding them to the tomato soup just before serving.