thyme for tomato soup

Soup’s on. The calendar says the spring season is three weeks away. Yet, winter is dumping some last-minute snow on us in the next few days. And it has been cold and windy. Maybe it was the chill in the air. The guys wanted tomato soup and “special cream.” It is a cold-weather favorite for them.

The soup starts with a base of sweating onions in some olive oil and butter. Once those are translucent, in go some cloves of garlic, and a dash of Kosher salt. From there, we add some celery and carrots. The inner leaves of the celery give some good flavor. Then we toss in some baby carrots to the mix. As the celery and carrots begin to soften, we sprinkle some onion powder and garlic powder to echo the flavors of the onion and garlic.

 Then, we drizzle some good organic honey to help with the caramelization of the vegetables as they release their natural sugars. We have made many versions of this tomato soup. The addition of the honey is a background flavor that we enjoy with the tomato flavor.

Find the best crushed tomatoes you can. We like to use San Marzano since they are naturally a little sweeter and less acidic. A soup like this can only be helped by using a homemade chicken stock. You can also substitute the chicken stock with a vegetable stock. The vegetarians in your crowd will enjoy just as much flavor.

We have played with different herbs in the tomato soup recipe. The guys like their always reliable fresh thyme. After the ingredients have simmered for about 30 minutes we drop some sprigs of thyme in as the soup cools. Once cooled, we puree the mixture in the blender.

When the soup is mixed, we add a splash of whole milk. The guys like a creamy tomato soup. The soup gets the creamy consistency from another ingredient. Their “special cream.” With the soup ready to serve, I place a big dollop of sour cream in the bottom of their soup bowls.

The warm tomato soup is ladled over the cream. The guys lift their spoons and head straight into the bowls. They swirl the sour cream around to make a creamy tomato creation. I called it “special cream” when I first served this soup. Would you try something called “sour” cream for the first time when you were a kid?

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