Tomato-Fennel Soup with Rosemary Toasts
The strong anise flavor of fennel is mellowed and sweetened beautifully when you cook it. Tomatoes add a nice acidic touch and the rosemary toasts add a flavorful crunch to this soup that is equally good served hot or chilled.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
- 16 (1/2-inch thick slices) French bread
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 large fennel bulb, (about 2 pounds), stalks and core removed, diced about 6 cups (reserve fronds for garnish)
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 6 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds
- To make the toasts, preheat oven to 375 F.
- Arrange bread on a large rimmed baking pan.
- Lightly brush both sides of bread with olive oil.
- Sprinkle bread with rosemary
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden around edges and crisp.
- Remove from oven and set aside.
- To make the soup, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add fennel, onion and garlic; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 12 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, broth and tomato paste and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
- Puree soup in pot using a hand held immersion blender.
- Stir in butter until melted and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in fennel fronds.
- Ladle into soup bowls and top each bowl with 2 toasts.