A steaming bowl of tomato soup is the best chilly-weather treat. If you find yourself getting bored with the usual varieties, add some fragrant fennel to enjoy a creative, new spin.
What you need:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb (about 16 ounces), trimmed, cored, and chopped
- 3 tablespoons fennel, feathery leaves reserved
- 6 medium shallots, finely chopped
- 3 ounces (about 1-1/2 small) carrots, finely chopped
- 1 28-ounce can and 1 14-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth, preferably homemade or low-sodium canned
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
What you do:
- In a medium stockpot over medium-low heat, heat oil. Add fennel bulb, fennel, shallots, and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the mixture, in batches if necessary, to a food processor fitted with a knife blade or a blender. Purée until smooth. If necessary, return to pot and reheat over low heat. Serve hot, garnished with reserved fennel leaves.