Fresh Tomato Bisque

2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 6)
1 onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon butter
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1 pint light cream
1 cup milk
6 large toasted butter croutons
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Skin and seed the tomatoes. Sauté onion in butter and add tomatoes chopped. Add bay leaf, sugar, cloves, salt, pepper and basil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are thoroughly cooked, about 25 minutes.

Remove bay leaf and cloves and transfer mixture to blender to puree (or strain through a coarse sieve). Add cream and milk and heat through. Serve topped with toasted butter croutons.