In a medium saucepan, bring carrots, chicken broth, celery, onion, and bay leaves to boiling over high heat; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 7 to 9 minutes or until carrots are tender. Cool slightly.
Discard bay leaves. Pour mixture into food processor bowl or blender container. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Return to saucepan.
Stir in cream*, butter, basil, and pepper. Heat through.
Ladle into warm bowls. Garnish with parsley. Makes 3 or 4 appetizer servings.
For a thinner soup, stir in a little additional cream before heating.