I watched Tyler Florence make this soup on his show and could not wait to fix this. I don't think I will ever again buy a can of tomato soup. This is easy and awesome. I paired this with Grilled 3 Cheese Sandwiches.
Wash, core and cut tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, garlic and onions onto a baking tray. If using vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, add them as well, leaving them whole and on the vine. Drizzle with 1/2 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until caramelized.
Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot (reserve vine cherry tomatoes for later). Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, bay leaves and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.
Wash and dry basil leaves. Add to pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low heat, add half and half and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish in bowl with 3 or 4 roasted vine cherry tomatoes and a splash of half and half.