Monday, April 16, 2012

Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup

I have been a bit fennel-obsessed lately. It started with this salad that I saw on an episode of Giada at Home. I love the crunch and light licorice flavor of fresh fennel in a salad, but also the deep, slightly sweet flavor it takes on after roasting. I am a little disappointed in myself for waiting almost thirty one years to give fennel a shot, but seeing as it finds its way into our grocery cart every week now, I think it is safe to say I am more than making up for lost time.

This particular soup was inspired by new love for fennel and my long-time love of any vegetable that has been roasted to golden, smoky perfection. For this soup, I also threw in some onions, herbs, chicken stock and coconut milk to make it nice and creamy (Guess what? You don't need heavy cream or milk to add creaminess to soups). I served this alongside a fresh garden salad for a perfect Sunday afternoon lunch to fuel the somehow growing list of to-do items around the house!

Note: This recipe could easily be doubled if you are cooking for a large crowd.

Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


-1 fennel bulb, sliced
-1 medium white onion, sliced
-1.5 lb medium roma tomatoes (about 6), sliced in half
-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-7 oz coconut milk (half of a standard 14oz can)
-1.5 cups chicken stock
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 tsp dried thyme
-1 tsp dried oregano
-salt and pepper to taste
-2 tbsp fennel fronds, chopped (for garnish)

-Preheat oven to 400 F

-Line a large baking sheet with foil. Place fennel slices, onion slices and tomato halves on the baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over fennel and onions. Place in the oven to roast.

-After 30 minutes, remove the onions and fennel from the oven and place them in a large saucepan or pot. Continue to roast the tomatoes for another 30 minutes.

-When the tomatoes are roasted, add them to the pot with the onions. Add coconut milk, chicken stock, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Turn the pot to medium-high heat and bring the soup to a boil. Once soup is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

-Transfer into a blender (or use an immersion blender) and pulse a few times until the soup reaches your desired consistency. I like mine to be pretty thick and chunky so I don't blend it for long.

-Transfer soup into serving bowls. Top with chopped fennel fronds.