Soup season is HERE! This soup witch is thrilled to be reunited with her cauldron after a lengthy summer hiatus- 'tis time for boiling and bubbling savory soups! I'm kicking the season off with a gorgeous, nutritious and delicious new recipe: Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup. While I love classic tomato basil soup as much as the next person, I wanted to try a uniquely scrumptious spin on the status quo. I can't get enough of this roasted tomato and fennel version! This recipe calls for roasting tomatoes, fennel and garlic before simmering them in a pot with aromatics and stock- this technique coaxes the natural sweetness out of the vegetables, resulting in a complex soup that is layered with deep flavor. Fennel may not a be a veggie you're used to working with, but it's an absolute favorite of mine. Roasted fennel is sweet and creamy, with a mild licorice flavor. It pairs perfectly in this recipe, and once puréed creates a creaminess that mimics the heavy cream in classic tomato basil soup. You would never guess this soup is dairy free based off it's luxurious texture! I purée the soup with an immersion blender, one of my essential kitchen tools, but you could also transfer the mixture carefully to a blender or food processor to whirl it up. This is best served with crusty bread or a grilled cheese for divine dunking. Celebrate the season with Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup- you won't be disappointed!
prep time: 10 min. cook time: ~1 hr. serves: 6
1-1/2 lbs roma or campari tomatoes, halved
1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored and cut into 1/2” thick slices, fronds reserved for garnish
1 head of garlic
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Preheat the oven to 425°. Place the tomatoes and fennel on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt and the red pepper flakes. Spread in an even layer on the sheet pan and flip the tomatoes cut side up. Trim the top part off the garlic head, drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly with foil. Place it on the same sheet pan with the tomatoes and fennel. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and lightly charred and the garlic is very soft. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium In the bottom of a heavy pot. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and thyme and cook 1 min more. Add the roasted tomatoes and fennel to the pot, and squeeze the soft roasted garlic cloves in as well, discarding the papers. Pour in the wine and stock and season with 1 tsp more salt and ground black pepper to taste. Give the pot a stir, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook over low heat 20 minutes. Off the heat, use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth and velvety. Check for seasoning. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish with fennel fronds and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!