Bacon and Tomato Soup

1 medium size onion, chopped 
3 strips bacon, diced
2 cans (15 oz) ready-cut tomatoes  (or 2 lbs ripe tomatoes see * below)
2 Tblsp. butter
3 cups chicken stock 
1/2 tsp. thyme (or 1 tsp. fresh thyme)
2 bay leaves 
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream 
grated nutmeg

1.  Cook the bacon in a medium-size pot over medium-high heat. When the bacon is cooked, remove from the pot and drain on paper towel. Drain off bacon fat from pot (donít wipe out pot).  Add butter in same pot and cook onion until soft. 

2.  Add the tomatoes* in their liquid, chicken stock*, bacon, thyme and bay leaf and bring the mixture to a boil then lower heat and simmer gently uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves. 

3.  Process soup in a food processor or blender to smooth texture. 

4.  Stir in sour cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg and serve warm.  Do not allow it to boil.

* If using fresh ripe tomatoes: Peel the tomatoes by coring them, cutting an "X" at the opposite end, and placing them into boiling water for about 15 seconds.  Remove the tomatoes to the sink and run cold water over them for a moment or so. Drain; the skins will slip off easily. Cut the tomatoes in half and gently squeeze out the seeds, using a fingertip if necessary.  A quick rinse will wash away clinging seeds.  Chop the tomatoes and increase chicken stock up to 4 cups instead of 3 cups.  (If you are buying the tomatoes "out of peak season"  Roma tomatoes for the best flavor).
 

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