3/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
In a large saucepan, saute the celery, onion and red pepper in butter for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the basil, sugar, salt and pepper; cool slightly. Transfer half of the soup mixture to a blender. While processing, gradually add cream; process until pureed. Return to the pan; heat through (do not boil).