In a large, heavy pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, bell pepper, garlic, thyme and crushed pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to a syrup, about 1 minute. Add the tomato juices and bay leaves and boil until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.