Roasted Tomato, Fennel, & Onion Soup

When the end of harvest rolls around I always know I’ll be looking for ways to use up the baskets of fresh, ripe tomatoes we pick from our garden. There is nothing better than the flavor and aroma of a ripe tomato just picked  and whose taste is enhanced by the heat of the summer sun. With my summer tomato bounty I make everything from fresh tomato pasta sauces, roasted tomatoes that are as sweet as candies, tomato jam, stuffed tomatoes with savory fillings, and I also make soups I can serve at room temperature such as this easy, great summer recipe.

This soup was created when I decided to make a room temperature soup with a basket of ripe plum tomatoes and looking through my pantry found onions and fresh fennel bulbs in my refrigerator. I decided to roast everything and then simply blend it, creating a chunky puree. I made the soup the day before I planned on serving it to help meld and improve the flavor and was very pleased with the final result.  If you are not able to find really ripe, locally grown tomatoes, you can also use a top quality brand of imported Italian tomatoes. If doing so, simply skip the step for roasting the tomatoes as the roasted onions and fennel will add enough flavor themselves.

To serve this soup, it is delicious topped with grated Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or a little pesto oil made by mixing a tablespoon pesto with two tablespoons olive oil.

 

 

 

  • Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene, vitamin C, potassium, iron, and fiber.
  • Onions contain Potassium, fiber, and folate as well as the flavonoid quercetin.
  • Fennel contains a unique combination of phytonutrients, including the flavonoids rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides which give fennel a strong antioxidant ability. Fennel is also a good source of vitamin C as well as high in fiber and potassium.
  • Minimal calories from fat and the only fat used is olive oil which is a heart healthy mono-unsaturated fat.
  • Garlic is thought to help prevent cardiac disease, lower blood pressure, and reduce cholesterol levels.

 

Roasted Tomato, Fennel, & Onion Soup

Roasting the vegetables before turning them into soup adds a special depth of flavor and sweetness.

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1 hr 20 mins

Ingredients:

24 Medium Large Plum Tomatoes
1 Large Sweet Onion
1 Large Fresh Fennel Bulb
3 Cloves Garlic
3 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Thyme
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
Salt & Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Low Sodium Chicken Broth

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare 2 large baking sheets by covering them with aluminum foil.
Cut the tomatoes in half and lay them cut side up on one of the baking sheets. Finely chop the thyme with two of the garlic cloves and sprinkle this over the tomatoes and then drizzle the cut side of the tomatoes with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Peel the onion and cut into one inch slices and brush both sides with a little olive oil and place on the other baking sheet.
Cut the fennel in half and remove the core, and then cut off the frond stems and the fennel leaves.
Toss the fennel in a little olive oil and place it on the baking sheet with the onions.
Season the onions and fennel with a little salt and pepper, and place both baking sheets in the oven.
Bake until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown. (The tomatoes will take about 40 minutes and the onions and fennel may take up to an hour.)
Place the vegetables into a food processor and pulse until you have a thick chunky mixture.
Heat another two tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy saucepan and cook the other two garlic cloves, finely minced until fragrant.
Add the tomato mixture, the chopped basil and just enough broth to loosen the soup. (I use about one cup of broth.)
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Season with salt and pepper and cook for an additional 10 minutes to meld the flavors, adding additional broth if the soup becomes too thick.
Allow the soup to come to room temperature before serving.
Serve the soup at room temperature in individual bowls topped with your garnish of choice. I mix two tablespoons of pesto with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and drizzle this mixture on top before serving.