Creamy Tomato Soup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 slice bacon, finely chopped
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes
3 parsley sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crisp and most of the fat has rendered, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Lower the heat to medium, add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and crush the tomatoes through your fingers into the pan. Bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Remove and discard the herb bundle. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.
Whisk in the heavy cream, salt, and pepper, to taste. Divide among warm soup bowls and serve immediately.