thyme, dried and crushed
hot pepper sauce
fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
green bell pepper, diced
Blanch tomatoes in large pot of boiling water for 1 minute; drain.
Rinse under cold water to cool and drain.
Using small sharp knife, peel off skin; cut tomatoes into quarters and remove seeds.
Puree tomatoes in blender or processor.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat; add bell pepper and saute until almost tender, about 3 minutes.
Stir in garlic and tomato paste; cook 2 minutes.
Mix in tomato puree, thyme and hot pepper sauce; remove from heat.
Cover and let stand at room temperature 2 hours.
Heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat; add fennel, zucchini, green bell pepper, mushrooms and celery.
Saute until crisp-tender, about 8 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Bring soup to boil; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls; top with vegetable mixture.
Garnish with basil and serve.