Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup

Original Recipe HERE
I'm not normally a fan of tomato soup.  I didn't grow up on it, either fresh or Campbell's, so I never developed an appreciation for it.  Most of the ones I've tried are too tomato-y, tasting either like fresh tomatoes were used (and they really need to have been cooked instead) or overly salted/seasoned to make up for a too-weak tomato flavor.  So I gave this one a shot with low expectations, especially since I wasn't sure how disintegrating bread into it could really turn out well.

But it really was tasty.  Everyone except *J* had seconds of it, though *P* grew more and more unsure with each passing bite (and since the kid is a Human Garbage Disposal, I thought that if for once he was rejecting a food, I'd respect it).  I made roasted garlic butter and served it with sourdough on the side.  Next time I'll go with the classic grilled cheese to ensure all members of the family eat a heartier meal.  And though I didn't add any additional salt, this was almost too salty for my taste.  I'm assuming that, by process of elimination, that's due to the type of tomato used.  Everyone raves about San Marzano, but I'll try some lowly Hunt's to compare.
I plan to freeze a small portion of this to see how well it can be saved.
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil [I used grape seed]
1 medium onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice, undrained [I used San Marzano]
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
3 large slices dense white bread [I used sourdough]
2 cups broth [I used vegetable]
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
(1) In large pot, heat olive oil medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
(2) Add tomatoes and their juice. Using a potato masher, break them down into smaller pieces.
(3) Stir in sugar and bread; bring soup to a boil.
(4) Reduce heat to medium.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
(5) Turn off heat.  Add butter.  Once melted, puree soup with immersion blender or traditional blender.  Soup can be strained through fine-mesh strainer if perfectly smooth consistency is desired(6) Stir broth into soup; return soup to a boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat. Stir in the basil before serving.
Kid Participation: None.

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