One evening, while visiting England in 1994, my father Doug took my friend Bill Potter and down a narrow hedge lined road to a quaint pub called the Woolpack Inn. It was a cool, slightly rainy night and inside the pub a fire was crackling. It was in this remarkable setting that we were served an absolutely remarkable tomato herb soup. The soup was very generously served in enormous bowls with a side of toast and English crackers. We ate like Kings that evening. What’s more, the soup was all we needed… it filled and satisfied us to the utmost! What follows is a recipe which I have worked on tirelessly to try to do justice to the original English soup at the Woolpack Inn. Try it, and for just a few moments, imagine yourself in a quaint pub in old England.
1 tsp butter
1 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups water or stock
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few dashes of white pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste
2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
SAUTE: Heat the butter in a medium sized soup pot and saute the garlic over medium heat for about 30 seconds.
ADD: Add crushed tomatoes. Add lemon juice, herbs and water or stock and simmer on low heat stirring occasionally. Add milk to soup, and return to a simmer.
FINISH: Add salt, pepper and parmesan. Serve hot with grated cheddar cheese (optional), garlic bread, toast or crackers.