Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup (serves 4)

May be just me but I think this soup outweighs tomato soup because the fennel brings a subtle but improving flavor to it. Also, when I think of tomato soup I think of Heinz tomato soup and you can’t recreate it at home. Fennel has a liquorice/aniseed smell/taste to it and, oddly enough, is a member of the carrot family. In cooking it seems to have a real affinity with tomatoes. Using Kallo brand Tomato and Herb stock cubes – really worth buying them (available from Amazon in the US and UK, also supermarkets in the UK) deepens the flavor – they are also gluten free. If you don’t have them use chicken or veg. broth. This soup can be served hot or cold, so perfect for summer.

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 1 tbsp. seasoned oil, tip into a baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
Pour the other tbsp. of oil into a frying pan and, when nice and hot, add the onion and let it soften before stirring in the garlic. Let that mixture cook for a few minutes before the addition of the fennel.
Continue cooking for 10 minutes then add the tomatoes and broth.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for half an hour with a lid on the pan.
Transfer to a food processor and puree.


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