Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tomato And Fennel Soup

If you have not tried fennel before, take your taste buds on an adventure. Fennel is a licorice-flavored member of the parsley family and is one of Italy’s most popular vegetables. It blends beautifully with tomatoes and contains 20% of the daily-recommended dose of vitamin C. It can be eaten fresh, or cooked, as in today’s recipe.

You can make this soup and refrigerate it to serve another day. Try to find fresh tarragon; the dried tarragon will not give you the same flavor.

3 cups chopped fennel bulb (about 1 large bulb)
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
½ cup carrots, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
4 cups chicken stock
Sea salt and pepper

Canned coconut milk for garnish (optional)

To prepare the fennel, cut off the stalks and discard (or save for making your own homemade stock). Cut the bulb in half and remove the tough center. Roughly chop the remaining part of the bulb.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the fennel, onion, and carrot. Cook until the vegetables start to brown and become soft. Stir in the tarragon, some salt, pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Add the drained tomatoes and the chicken stock. Continue to cook for 20 minutes.

Puree the soup in a food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender. Serve topped with a drizzle of canned coconut milk and a sprig of the fresh tarragon.

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