Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a Silpat,
Place the tomatoes cut-side up in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Drizzle the tomatoes with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, sugar, and thyme.
Roast the tomatoes until they are wrinkled and soft, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool until cool enough to handle. Remove skins.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the onions and a pinch of salt, stir, and cook until starting to soften.
Add the garlic, stir, and cook another minute.
Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, bay leaf and the basil. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
Add the cream.
Using an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender you can transfer the soup to a blender, but let it cool first or it will explode in the blender. You have been warned!
Serve warm garnished with chives and croutons if desired.