Garnish: dollop of pesto and grilled cheese sandwich cut into bite sized pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add tomatoes, garlic, fennel, salt and pepper and toss with olive oil to coat. Roast for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in soup pot, sauté onions, celery, carrot in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add dried basil and a little salt and pepper to season as the vegetables cook* (see note below)
Remove tomatoes from oven. Peel skins off garlic and add garlic to soup pot with the tomatoes and all the juice on the baking tray. Add chicken broth, sugar and tomato paste. Stir, cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Puree soup with immersion blender, then add half and half and pesto. Let simmer a few more minutes, then serve.
Garnish with an extra dollop of pesto and a grilled cheese sandwich cut into bite sized pieces
*I have made this roasting all the vegetables with the tomatoes and save this step.