Creamy Tomato Soup
Adapted from Epicurious
Makes 8 servings
1/4 cup olive oil
10 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 28-oz cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, with juices
1-2 tsp granulated sugar
4 cups vegetable stock
4 cups water
1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for serving (optional-without it, this soup is vegan!)
desired amount of sea salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add thyme, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until onion is completely soft and translucent, 10-12 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add tomato paste. Continue cooking, stirring often, until paste has begun to caramelize in spots, 5-6 minutes. Add the tomatoes with juices, sugar, vegetable stock, and water. Increase heat to high; bring to a simmer. Simmer until flavors meld and soup reduces to about 2 quarts (8 cups), 45-55 minutes. Remove soup from heat; let cool slightly. Discard thyme sprigs. Working in small batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pot. Stir in additional teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 cup cream, if using. Season with more salt and pepper (to taste). Simmer until flavors meld, another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm, with and additional drizzle of cream, if desired*.
*To make the design in the picture, drizzle desired amount of cream on soup in a swirl, then use a spoon to swipe or swirl through four lines in a zig zag in one direction, then do the same in a perpendicular direction.