Winter is soup season and that makes me sooooo happy! I am especially partial to creamy pureed soups, but that doesn’t have to mean adding cream, or any kind of dairy for that matter. The richness of vegetables can be enough to create a dreamy, creamy soup, like this Leek, Carrot and Thyme Soup.
If you didn’t make your farmers market run yet this week, add carrots and leeks to your list. The mild onion flavour of leeks along with sweet winter carrots is such a wonderful flavour combination for this Leek, Carrot and Thyme Soup. And don’t dismiss the value of thyme in this soup. A depth of flavour is added from its savoury pungency, and let’s not forget the health benefits of thyme.
Health benefits of thyme
- The primary volatile compound in thyme is thymol, which provides thyme with its antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties.
- Thyme is anti-spasmodic and carminative, to relieve flatulence and support digestion.
- Thyme has an anxiolytic effect to support the nervous system and mood.
- Thyme oil can be applied topically, diluted in a carrier oil, to relieve pain and inflammation and to treat skin conditions, wounds and fungal infections.
- Thyme has been used for centuries as tea to soothe a cough associated with bronchitis.
Thyme has a moderate level of oxalates so individual who are on a low oxalate diet as a result of kidney stones or for other health reasons should limit the amount of thyme consumed. (The amount in this soup is minimal per serving so will not be a concern).
Selecting and storing thyme
- Select fresh thyme that is grey-green in color without any brown spots or yellowing.
- Store fresh thyme in the refrigerator in a damp towel.
- Fresh thyme will last about 7 days.
- If purchasing dried thyme look for organic to reduce the possibility of the herbs having been irradiated.
- Store dried thyme in a glass jar or bottle.
- Dried thyme will maintain its freshness for about 6 months.
If you have an abundance of leeks, you may also want to try Leek, Broccoli and Sweet Potato Soup.
Leek, Carrot and Thyme Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb leeks sliced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 lb carrots sliced (about 3 cups)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Heat olive oil in saucepan over low heat. Add leeks and carrots and sweat over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Add chopped garlic and continue to sweat over low heat for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add vegetable stock, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.
- Puree soup using an immersion blender or add to a blender and puree. If using a blender be mindful of the hot liquid. The soup may have to be pureed in two batches.