Image credit to: Boston Organics (Beth Harris)
Heat oil or butter in small soup pot. Add onion and saute until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute unti fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, small amount of stock, bay leaf, hot pepper flakes, sugar. Bring to boil allow to simmer, gently, covered, about 20 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and puree in blender or with immersion blender to retain some texture. Return to pot, heat, taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper and consistency with additional stock.
To serve: place in bowls, drizzle with olive oil and spinkle with basil or oregano or scallions, preferably fresh. Crunlbed feta is also a nice addition.
Make it a meal with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side. Or make it substantial with the addition of two eggs. After pureeing, bring to bowl again, beat two eggs together in a measuring cup and, while swirling boiling soup with a spoon or chopsticks, slowly pour in beaten eggs. In about 30 secinds - 1 minutes you'll have egg drop soup. Remove from heat immediately. Instead of olive oil to finish it, this variation is nice with a few drops of sesame oil and scallion greens.