A little creme fraiche and croutons to serve (optional)
Wash the tomatoes well if they are fresh and place them in a large bowl. Frozen, dehydrated or canned tomatoes do not need to be washed.
Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and leave them sit in the hot water for 30 seconds.
After the 30 seconds is up, drain the boiling water and add enough cold water to cover the tomatoes. This helps them cool and makes it easy to remove the skin.
Peel the skin off all tomatoes and cut each tomato into quarters. If you do not wish to remove the skin you can omit step 3 and 4. Be aware however the even when you blend the tomatoes up some of the skins will remain rolled into tiny pieces.
Place the tomatoes in a large pan, then pour chicken or vegetable stock over the tomatoes.
Bring this mixture to a boil and quickly reduce the heat to low.
Simmer the mixture gently for approximately 10 minutes, then stir in the tomato puree, vinegar, sugar and chopped basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Continue to simmer the tomato soup while stirring frequently for 2 more minutes.
Allow the soup to cool slightly and then transfer it to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Transfer the soup back to the pan and reheat it taking care not to bring it to a boil.
Serve the fresh, homemade tomato soup in warm bowls and top with a little creme fraiche or croutons if desired.