If you asked me for my definition of tomato soup I would say Heinz Tomato Soup, which, accompanied by a toasted cheese sandwich, is near perfection as a Fall/Winter meal. As I can’t recreate that nostalgic flavor I am suggesting a completely different tomato soup combining roasted tomatoes and fennel. If you are not familiar with fennel, it has a mild anise or licorice taste which just happens to go really well with tomatoes and you will notice a hint of it in this soup.
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F
2 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 oz. baby tomatoes
1 medium onion – chopped
2 large cloves of garlic – grated
1 head of fennel – chopped
3 – 4 cups of broth, depending how thick/thin you like your soup
Toss tomatoes in a bowl with 1 tbsp. of the oil, tip into a baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
Pour the other 1 tbsp. of oil into a frying pan and, when nice and hot, add the onion and let soften before stirring in the garlic. Cook for a few more minutes, then add the fennel, stir and keep cooking for 5 minutes. Tip in the tomatoes and pour over the broth.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for half an hour with a lid on the pan.
Transfer to a food processor and puree.
Decorate with fennel frond leaves – optional