The most delicious tomato soup I've had recently was from Souperman. It was creamy, slightly smoky, had a good solid tomato flavor, and didn't even need a grilled cheese accompaniment. It stood on its own.
But the most beautiful tomato soup I've had recently was from my own kitchen, though I will have to admit that it is not difficult to make a beautiful tomato soup. I used canned whole peeled tomatoes and fresh basil and pureed half of it to create what ended up looking like a warm gazpacho, but tasted like heaven. With little parmesan toasts on top, the whole meal only took about 30 minutes. This is another one of those recipes that can be made a million different ways - add different herbs, more veggies, fresh tomatoes, elbow macaroni, or a cup of half-and-half (for a creamier version) to make it into an entirely different soup.
1 med onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled & diced
2 cloves garlic, pushed through a garlic press
1 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
6 c. vegetable stock
1 T. olive oil
handful of fresh basil
salt & pepper to taste
Saute onion & carrot in olive oil 8-10 minutes over medium heat, or until onions are translucent. Add garlic and salt and pepper - cook for 1 minute more. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut tomatoes (while in the can) into smaller pieces. Add can of tomatoes, juice and all, along with stock. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add chiffonade of fresh basil and check soup for seasonings. All or part of soup can be pureed in batches in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Serve hot with additional fresh basil and fresh grated parmesan cheese.