To make homemade cream of tomato soup, combine 2 15-ounce cans of chicken or vegetable stock with 1 28-ounce can of concentrated, crushed tomatoes, and add 1 cup of heavy cream after the mixture reaches a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for 15 minutes.
Season the soup to taste with coarse salt and pepper while it is simmering. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender before serving. Garnish the soup with finely shredded fresh basil and floating soup toppers.
To make floating soup toppers, toast 4 slices of crusty or artisan bread in a toaster until they are golden brown. Rub the slices of toast with cracked, fresh garlic, place them on a baking sheet, and drizzle the slices with olive oil. Top each slice with ground black pepper and shredded cheese of choice. Broil the slices until the cheese melts.
To make a richer homemade cream of tomato soup, cook 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 chopped, medium onion in a saucepan until the onion is translucent. Add 2 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes with juice and cook the mixture over reduced heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh basil. Puree the soup in a blender until it is smooth.