Quarter the tomatoes, put them in a saucepan with the salt, pepper, sugar, and ½ pint 3 dl.) of cold water. Cover and cook over gentle heat until they are a soft pulp; rub them through a fine moulin. Melt the butter in the saucepan, add the flour and stir over gentle heat until it is a smooth paste; then very gradually stir in the milk, being careful to keep the mixture smooth. Slowly add the tomato purée and stir until it just comes to the boil. Do not let it quite boil. Stir in the cream and serve with chopped parsley, mint and basil sprinkled on each helping, and fried croûtons as an accompaniment. The basil is important as it brings out the flavour of the tomatoes.