Allow the tomatoes to ripen for 4–5 days uncovered in a single layer on a tray in a warm room.
Then put them in a bowl, pour boiling water over them and leave for 30 seconds. Refresh in cold water and skin.
Put the baked tomatoes in a blender or food processor with the remaining tomatoes and the stock. Blitz to a purée and push through a sieve into a bowl.
Stir in the cream and ketchup, then taste and season. Cling-wrap the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Just before serving, cut the slices of white bread into 2-cm / ¾-inch cubes. Peel, smash and chop the garlic cloves and put them into a bowl with the olive oil and
Shred the basil leaves and stir half into the soup. Ladle it into bowls, scatter a few croutons on top of each with the remaining basil. Finish by drizzling some extra-virgin olive oil on the top.
© 1998 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.