Yikes! I definitely just deleted the pictures I took of my finished soup all dressed up in the bowl. I can’t even go to the recycle bin because I deleted them from my SD card. Ugh oh well, now the pictures will just be so so I suppose. 😦 I really need to wake up and be more careful.
But now onto the most delicious tomato soup I have ever had! I’m not even making that up. This recipe is so simple too. It only has three ingredients. The others are just what you would like to put on top to fancy it up. But to be honest, all I added was a few shavings of Parmesan Reggiano cheese. And I wouldn’t even miss the cheese if I didn’t have it. The soup is that good. There is a secret to this recipe…. I use fennel and caramelize it until it’s golden brown, sweet, and super mellow tasting. The fennel acts as a sweetener for the soup and helps to cut the acidic nature of tomatoes.
This recipe started from a few years back when I tried a friend’s tomato soup that I couldn’t get enough of. Yesterday I got a craving for it all of a sudden and had to make it today. I didn’t remember the recipe, so today I went with what sounded right to me for amounts.
1 28 oz can tomatoes
1 bulb of fennel
4 tablespoons of butter (this gives it a rich flavor so use a brand that you really enjoy the flavor of)
about 1/2 cup to 1 cup water
1. Cut top part of fennel of so you are only using the white bulb portion. Remove any tough outer layers. I didn’t have to because mine seemed tender enough. Slice the fennel thinly.
2. Melt the butter in pan on low to medium heat. Then add sliced fennel.
3. Cover the pan and let the fennel soften and start to caramelize in the pan for about 5-10 minutes before stirring. This lets the steam build up and really soften the fennel.
4. After the 5-10 minutes remove lid and continue to caramelize fennel until golden brown and soft enough to mash/break apart easily with cooking utensil. Stir every minute to couple of minutes being careful to not let it burn. (The way I tested it was that I tasted the fennel and it was nice and mellow and sweet tasting. The way sweet caramelized onions taste)
5. Add the canned tomatoes to the pan and let simmer for about 30 minutes.
6. After the soup has thickened up a bit, it is time to make it smooth. I put about 3/4 of the soup in the blender and let it whirl. (Please be careful and put a towel over the blender to make sure the steam released doesn’t burn you). This is also where an immersion blender would come in handy.
7. I also added about a cup of water the blender to make it a touch thinner. This is personal preference so do as you please.
8. Bring soup back up to a simmer and serve with a grilled cheese or croutons or whatever crackers or cheese you enjoy!
This recipe makes two hearty servings. About 1 3/4 cups each. You could easily double this recipe but I just wanted a small batch to have for myself. Enjoy!