Today is a soup kind of day. Yes- April 30th in Minnesota means soup weather.
I have been obsessed with this soup ever since a friend brought me a bowl of it. If you have the book "A Homemade Life" the recipe is found on its pages, otherwise this is a great adaptation (and the recipe I have pasted below.) I usually add some cannelini beans as well and it is also one of those soups that tastes better the longer it sits in your fridge.
Tomato Soup with 2 Fennels
from "A Homemade Life," by Molly Wizenberg
~serves 4-6 (generous helpings)~
~takes about 40 minutes~
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced (save some of the fronds for garnish)
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 28 ounce cans whole or chopped tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt
sugar, to taste
pepper and vinegar, to taste
- in a dutch oven or soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. add the chopped onions and fennel, and sautee for 5 minutes.
- add the garlic, thyme and fennel seeds. cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5-8 minutes.
- if using whole canned tomatoes, crush them in a food processor, with your hands, or however else you'd like. if using pre-crushed, no need to crush further. in any case, add the tomatoes and their juices to the pot and stir everything together.
- fill one of the now empty tomato cans with water and add to the mixture.
- turn the heat down, and let the soup gently simmer, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes.
- when the fennel is very tender, and the tomatoes have reduced to make the soup taste full-bodied, it's done! add salt and pepper to taste. if the soup is too acidic for you, a pinch of sugar will mellow it out. if you want a little more bite, add a small splash of red wine vinegar.
- ladle into soup bowls, and top with a pinch of fennel fronds, and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream (optional, of course!).
- serve, very hot, preferably to a table of your best friends.