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A german recipe for Lentil soup calls for White Thyme, is this different from regular thyme? Some say it is actually Winter Savory. Please help!

I have a german recipe for Lentil Soup. It calls for White Thyme and I have never seen that before and could not find it for sale anywhere. Is it the same as the regular thyme that you buy in the grocery store. I did a search online but couldn't really find anything except one site that said that it was actually Winter Savory which I also had never heard of. I am hoping you can tell me what I am supposed to use.

asked by Eddelweiss 2 months ago
9 answers 410 views
84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added 2 months ago

Winter savory is a pretty nice herb that doesn't seem to be in fashion. I'd go with that regular thyme you have and maybe, if you like it, a little bit of rosemary.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 2 months ago

Never heard of white thyme, either.
But/and oregano is botanically related to thyme, so if you like its flavor, use some of that.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 2 months ago

It's true that the thymes and oreganos/marjoram are members of the family labiatae, but then so are the above mentioned savories (winter and summer), mints, rosemaries, sages, lavanders, basil etc., so I wouldn't put too much stock in that. I must say I've spent a lot of time in nurseries and looked at a zillion thyme plants, and I don't remember any white thyme- there are lighter leaved and white flowered cultivars, but I doubt that's what was meant.

609271d6 306e 4b3e 8479 9d404fb84e73  moi 1
QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

added 2 months ago

I have not heard of white thyme. But winter savory is a lovely herb. It has unique flavor -- to me it kind of tastes like a combination of marjoram, thyme and oregano. It is slightly peppery too. But since you are dealing with a lentil soup, I suspect that any of these herbs on its own would work nicely.

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added 2 months ago

A little googling confirms that white thyme is indeed a name for winter savory. Kind of an odd name, but certainly a nice choice for lentils. When I've had it in the garden, it's been my go-to with beans. I think all the substitutions suggested so far would work, although oregano just doesn't say "German" to me. Summer savory would be another choice, of course.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 2 months ago

Good point about oregano not saying "German." (I was thinking more about flavor.)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 2 months ago

Thank you so much everyone, for your help. This was my first question that I have posted on Food52, just found the site and I am so grateful for your help! I think I am going to try to track down the winter savory because it sounds just different enough that it might be the flavor that was meant. I had no idea that so many spices were in the same flavor family!

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 2 months ago

Good luck with your dish. Our food crops can be surprisingly circumscribed; for instance, the carrot family (umbelliferae) also includes parsnips, celery, parsley, chervil, coriander, cumin, asafoetida and others. The rose family (rosaceae) includes apples, pears, crabapples, the stone fruits, most berries-strawberries, raspberries, blackberries etc. Most of the rest of the berries (blueberries, huckleberries, cranberries etc.) are from the rhododendron family (Ericaceae). It's some time since I learned all this stuff, and I think a couple of the official family names have changed- taxonomists never rest in their efforts to baffle the rest of us.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 2 months ago

Good luck with your dish. Our food crops can be surprisingly circumscribed; for instance, the carrot family (umbelliferae) also includes parsnips, celery, parsley, chervil, coriander, cumin, asafoetida and others. The rose family (rosaceae) includes apples, pears, crabapples, the stone fruits, most berries-strawberries, raspberries, blackberries etc. Most of the rest of the berries (blueberries, huckleberries, cranberries etc.) are from the rhododendron family (Ericaceae). It's some time since I learned all this stuff, and I think a couple of the official family names have changed- taxonomists never rest in their efforts to baffle the rest of us.
ps these are not families based on flavors, they are based on botany, though I think chemical relationships between the important compounds do run across botanical dividing lines.

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