Tomato soup is one of my favorite childhood memories. Of course, my memories came out of a Campbell soup can with a grilled cheese on the side. Although I still love tomato soup, today I wouldn’t eat canned soup when I can make soup from fresh ingredients and load it up with fresh veggies.
Although the first time I tried fennel, I was not a fan, I have recently recognized its ability to transform flavors in soups, stews and salads.
I don’t particularly like the taste of black licorice. But when fennel is combined with other ingredients, it enhances the flavor of other vegetables.
“Fennel bulb, which looks kind of like a cross between an onion and the base of a bunch of celery, has a sweet, perfumy, anise-like flavor. Rather than making food taste like licorice, though, fennel imparts a light, bright spring-like quality to foods. Plus, fennel is good for you.”
First of all, this soup tastes like it came from a gourmet restaurant. It is truly rich and delicious in flavors, and it is so simple to make.
If you love soup as much as me, give it a try. Take your childhood tomato soup to a new level.
30 minutes from start to finish, this soup is clearly a keeper. The flavors meld together to impress any tomato soup lover.
- 1 medium leek
- 1 large fennel bulb (reserve fennel tops )
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 medium potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 celery stalk, chopped coarsely
- 1 (28 ounce)can organic diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
- Cut end of the leek off, and cut into quarters length wise. Leeks are very dirty vegetables, so you need to separate their layers and clean them well prior to cutting.
- Chop leeks into thin slices
- Remove fennel tops and chop small to use for garnish at the end.
- Fennel also has many crevices, so separate it parts, and rinse before chopping into 1/2 inch pieces similar to the potatoes
- Cut the potatoes (skin on) into 1/2 inch cubes as well. Make sure you scrub the skins prior to cutting.
- Cut celery coarsely
- In a large sauce pan (no oil needed), cook leek, garlic, fennel, onion and celery over medium heat, approximately 5-10 minutes, until softened.
- Add saffron threads; cook, stirring until fragrant.
- You may need to add a little water or vegetable broth if vegetables start sticking.
- Add vegetable broth, can of tomatoes, and chopped potatoes
- Cover and bring to a full boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to simmer.
- Cook 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Season to taste.
- When serving, add the chopped fennel bulb tops.
- Can freeze as well and reheat.