Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole. Add the onions and celery and cook them uncovered for about a minute, just to get them sizzling. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring on occasion, until the onions are translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juices, carrots, wine, water or broth, spices and bay leaf. Cover the pan again and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The foundation soup is made up to this point.