Tomato Basil Soup

1 pound fresh tomatoes
½ cup carrots; washed and chopped
½ cup leeks; washed and chopped
½ cup shallots; chopped
½ teaspoon garlic; chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
¼ cup tomato paste
8 cups chicken stock
5 teaspoons fresh basil; chopped

HEAT olive oil in a 4 qt. Sauce pan. ADD tomatoes, leeks, carrots, shallots and garlic; sauté for 1-2 minutes ADD fresh thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste and chicken stock. SIMMER on low heat for 20-25 minutes. REMOVE thyme and bay leaves. PUREE mixture in blender or food processor. REHEAT soup. SERVE with freshly chopped basil in each bowl.

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