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Tomato-Thyme Soup with Cheese and Croutons

In a creative frenzy recently, I’ve been cooking a lot with tomatoes. Why tomatoes? Because we have tons of them. Plus they are free and I can experiment with them without having the fear of going bankrupt at failed recipes.

The thing is we have tomato crop this year.  We planted 4 tiny tomato bushes in our backyard around May, and patiently waited for them to show any sign of life, but in vain, as they simply refused to grow. We were ready give up on them but decided to give them another chance and planted them in our front yard. So, next thing we see is our tomatoes grow by day, no, actually by hour, and the roses that have been there long enough to claim it their own territory, are now totally buried underneath the overflowing tomato plants. So, now we are officially the only house in the neighborhood that grows tomatoes and not flowers in its front yard. But we are not complaining, neither do our neighbors and friends who have been enjoying our organic tomatoes and telling us how lucky we are to be enjoying the fruit of our labor. I couldn’t have agreed more, considering that we really didn’t’ put that much labor into the whole thing. It is the mother Soil and its sister Sun that do the job.

Hubby was smart enough to plant several varieties to save me a trip to a grocery store to buy a particular variety for a particular recipe. We have steak tomatoes that are huge. We also have cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes and salad tomatoes.  I think I’ve picked at least 30 pounds of tomato so far and there is as much coming.

Ok, enough bragging. Here’s the recipe I whipped up the other day using our garden tomatoes. I used thyme to flavor the soup and it did enhance its taste nicely.  I topped the soup with shredded mozzarella cheese and homemade croutons. We enjoyed the soup thinking how fun it woul be if those plants could hang in there throughout the winter and provide us with their juiciest fruit (yes, scientifically speaking, tomato is a fruit and not vegetable), but I think that roses will eventually regain their territory before we and tomatoes know it.

TOMATO-THYME SOUP

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 medium juicy tomatoes, peeled and pureed in a food processor
5 cups chicken broth or water (or combination)
1 tablespoon dried thyme (decrease to taste)
1/2 cup milk
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

To garnish:
shredded mozzarella cheese
croutons (recipe follows)

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and stir-fry for a minute. Add the pureed fresh tomatoes. Cook for 3 minutes longer. Add the chicken broth or water, and thyme. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Gradually pour in the milk, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Ladle into bowls, garnish with shredded mozzarella and croutons (recipe follows).

CROUTONS
Remove crust from bread slices. Cut into cubes. Brush the cubes with some olive oil (or melted butter). Sprinkle with salt. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350F (170C) until browned, about 10 minutes.

ENJOY!

Your Comment

18 Comments
  1. You are lucky to have your own garden… That soup looks fabulous! Yummy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Lucky you, Farida. Tomatoes from one’s own garden always taste better don’t they?
    The soup looks very inviting. Have never tried mozarella with soup.

  3. miammm, it’s look grate!!!!

  4. You know I like tomato soup but have never tried making it. This post inspires me to do so.

    I love how, of late, the colour of your foods tend to match the colour scheme of your blog :)

  5. I always use basil or rosemary in my tomato soup…I’ll try your recipe with thyme….sounds soooo good!!!!

  6. Simply delicious! Tomatoes in a rose garden love it! Did you use a composte mixture with the dirt that you had in the back yard? It might have need the composte to give a kick making it more fertile. Thats my aunt does before she plants. It makes a huge difference. Smiles always…

  7. Hi – I have beena fan of your blog since that infamous Zebra cake posting!! I just wanted to let you know that I have you on Google Reader, but lately, your posts show up with the title “Daring Bakers – Abbey’s Cheesecake…” the content is new, but the title remains the same, not sure if this is specifically a Google issue.
    Love your blog, take care =)!!

  8. Looks great Farida, Never tried the tomato soup with either milk or Thyme, I have always used Basil but I trust your cooking so this must be good:-)
    X M

  9. This soup sounds so good Farida, We have a glut of tomatoes too so I’ll bookmark this to try.

  10. Just gorgeous! And perfect for me, because I can easily adapt it to make it vegan. Such a pretty color.

  11. Wow… the scent of tomato cooking makes me hungry!

  12. THANK YOU: Rosa, Aparna, Grazi, Cynthia, Avesta, Aysegul, Zaara, Matin, George, Elle and Doneza – for your comments.

    AYSEGUL: we didn’t add anything to soil. I think it is the sun that did the job. Our frontyard gets a lot of it whereas our backyard not so much:)

    ZAARA: Thanks for your nice words. About google, I am not really sure why it happens so. It is probably a google issue. Thanks for letting me know though. Off to check your blog:)

  13. Dear Fari, I think you have every right to boast about your prolific summer harvest. And dh was very clever in his decision to plant so many varieties.
    We only planted two tomato plants this year, and they did very well. But because I lack a green thumb, I typically stick to planting mostly herbs. Buying our fruits and vegetables from local farmers.

    And I have to say, you put your lovely tomatoes to good use. The look of your tomato soup brings summer to the table!
    And it is just what I’m craving right now.

  14. Oh wow…..that’s an drool worthy soup…love the flavour of thyme in it…..

    Ramadan Karim to you and your family…..

    Joy From Fasting To Feasting is back. Take time to participate….I left a mail with details…

  15. vat a perfect soup for the summer.. i love tomato and cheese soups. my husband is a soup addict! should prep this for the weekends.
    cheers and have a great weekend fareedha!

  16. tomato and thyme, botha are my favourite ingredients.. love this one! :)

  17. MARYSOL: Thank you:) I love growing fresh herbs, too. But I just can’t grow cilantro and dill for a long time for some reason. They die on me fast.

    LUBNA KARIM: Thank you, dear. Happy Ramadan to you too.

    NORA: Hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do. Cheers.

    SEENA: Thank you. They make a perfect pair:)

  18. I made the soup today! it was great, but a bit thin, but i think it is something to do with Norwegian tomatoes:) anyways thatks a lot for a great receipe!!!

    nara