Monday, September 10, 2012

Meatless Monday: Summer Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is a newer favorite of mine. As a child, I hated canned tomato soup! I still don't like how sweet it is. Yuck. But as an adult I've come around to tomato soup, although not canned. Tomato basil bisque is one of my favorite soups of all time, but lately I've been making quick tomato soup for lunch. I normally saute some veggies, add a can of tomatoes and simmer for awhile then blend until smooth. 

This Summer I traveled to the nearest food Co-op to our new house. It was a really pretty drive up I-5 through farm country, and you get to go 70mph, woot! While I was at the co-op, the locally grown fennel was calling my name. I wasn't entirely sure what I'd do with it, but I knew it wouldn't take too much thought as I love fennel. I ended up craving tomato soup the next day, so I came up with this lovely recipe. It's chalk full of fresh veggies, tomatoes, white wine (you can use chicken broth if you want), and fresh herbs. It's wonderful! I served this with a  sourdough grilled cheese sandwich, that's a perfect pair in my opinion. Give this soup a try, it's quick, easy and delicious!

Summer Tomato Soup by Haley
1T butter
1/2 fennel bulb, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 sprigs lemon thyme or thyme, leaves stripped, add stalks to soup
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped
1/2c dry white wine
2 cans diced tomatoes or 4-5 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock, add more while blending if you want a "thinner" soup
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of fresh basil, torn into small pieces

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add fennel, celery, onion, garlic, thyme (including stalks) and rosemary. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until veggies are translucent.

Pour in wine, and scrape pot of any bits that have stuck to the bottom. Once wine has began to bubble, add in tomatoes and chicken broth. When the mixture has come to a boil, turn down to medium-low and simmer, stirring every few minutes, for 15-30 minutes. Depending on how much time you have.

Remove thyme stalks from the pot and puree using a blender, food processor or immersion blender. I like mine completely smooth, but you can blend to your preference. If you want thinner soup, add more chicken broth now. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle basil on top when serving. If you want to be fancy, drizzle on a little bit of olive oil when serving. Serve warm.

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