Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds, then refresh in cold water. Peel off the
skins and quarter the tomatoes. Put them in a large pan and pour over the chicken or vegetable
stock. Bring just to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes until the
tomatoes are pulpy.
Stir in the tomato puree, vinegar, sugar and basil. Season with salt and pepper, then cook
gently, stirring, for 2 minutes. Process the soup in a blender or food processor, then return to a
clean pan and reheat gently. Serve in bowls, topped with one or two toasted cheese croutes and a
spoonful of creme fraiche, garnished with basil leaves.