Everyone should have an easy-to-whip up classic tomato soup in their recipe repetoire. This is so simple to make and yet fresh and tangy-tasting - it's perfect with a little Greek yoghurt or cream stirred through it and some parmesan toasts.
Heat up a good lug of olive oil in a large deep pan on a medium heat, then add the onion, carrot (if using) and celery. Put the lid on the pan and leave it all to cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer for another ten minutes.
Blend the soup until smooth with a food processor or hand held blender (or you can leave it a little chunky if you prefer), then add salt and pepper to taste and the basil and blend for a few seconds longer.
Tip the soup back in the pan and add the vinegar and sugar if including. Heat back up a little if necessary and serve, with bread and yoghurt/cream if you like.