Finely chop thyme, rosemary, oregano or marjoram, and basil. Discarding stems of all the herbs. Place the chopped thyme, rosemary, and oregano or marjoram in a bowl with salt, whole black peppercorn, and crumbled bay leaves. When the onion mixture is translucent and/or softened add the herbs to the pot with port or burgundy. Stir well, cover, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add one can of diced tomatoes to the soup pot. Stir well again. Cover and increase heat to a high flame. When the contents begin to boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Stirring occasionally to keep the soup from scorching to the bottom of the pot.
Remove the pot from the flame and allow the contents to cool until easy to work with. In a food processor, puree in batches, press through a strainer and discard any bits left in the strainer. If the puree is too thick add 1 cup of vegetable stock to each batch in the food processor while pureeing the soup contents.
Clean the pot and return the pureed soup to the pot. Pour into the pot the second can of diced tomatoes and the chopped basil.
Stir well, set over medium heat and allow the soup to reach a simmer. Remove the pot from the heat, cool for 10 minutes, pour the contents into a plastic or glass 2-quart bowl, and store in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 24 hours to help the flavors marry.
When serving reheat the soup over a medium heat until it begins to simmer. Serve immediately garnished with freshly shredded Parmesan and a whole basil leaf.