I often don’t get through my fresh tomatoes as quickly as I’d like to. I’m not wild about raw tomatoes and my husband can’t really eat raw foods. When I catch them on time, very ripe but not off, I throw them whole into the freezer until I can make some soup. Today I’ve got an easy soup featuring roasted fennel hearts, roasted garlic and my frozen tomatoes.
In a hilarious (sad) twist, my husband is allergic (cooked tomatoes, white kidney beans, fennel, basil) to just about every ingredient in this simple vegetable soup, so this one’s just for me. You can use canned or fresh tomatoes, if you want to, nothing will be lost, just add about 2 cups of canned tomatoes total! All together, this soup should be ready in about an hour, most of that time is idle. Fennel is one of my favourite vegetables and I’m still learning how to integrate it into vegan food rather than with beef, despite not eating meat for eight years now.
3 whole tomatoes, frozen or fresh
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cups vegetable stock, your choice
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed in your hand
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 fennel heart, core removed and sliced thin
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
4 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and kept whole
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano, rosemary basil and thyme
Freshly cracked black pepper, to your taste
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium sized pot over medium-high heat, bring the tomatoes, vegetable stock, carrot, celery, vegetable stock, fennel seeds, tomato paste and white kidney beans to a boil. Toss the fennel hearts, onions and garlic cloves together with olive oil, herbs and salt. Lay out on the prepared baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes. Once the tomato mixture has come to a boil, lower to a healthy simmer, stirring occasionally to help break up the whole tomatoes. Once the fennels hearts in the oven have started to brown, remove from oven and add to the soup pot. Simmer for an additional ten minutes. Using an immersion blender, a food processor, or your ordinary stand blender, blend the soup until it is a smooth puree. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking.