Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup

Roasted Tomato and Fennell Soup
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN
Total Time 90 min
Prep 15 min, Cook 75 min
Yield 9 cups (120 calories each)

Keep a can of whole peeled tomatoes in your pantry at all times. When you feel like there is nothing to cook in the house, your can of tomatoes can be turned into a quick sauce or soup at a moment's notice.

Cooked tomatoes are especially rich in a phytonutrient called lycopene, which has displayed anti-cancer potential in a variety of laboratory studies. Fennel is a low calorie vegetable that has an anise-like flavor, which pairs really well with this tomato soup. Fennel is delicious when roasted or sliced thin and used in salads, too. Try this tomato soup for a low calorie yet fiber-ful way to fit a serving of vegetables into your day.

Ingredients

  • 1, 28-ounceĀ can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, hard core removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Dump the can of tomatoes into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, crushing the tomatoes carefully with your hands. Add the olive oil and garlic cloves with a few pinches of salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  3. Cut the onion and fennel bulb into 8 large hunks each. Toss with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake the tomato mixture and onion/fennel mixture in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring and tossing midway through baking.
  1. Remove from oven and carefully transfer to a large soup pot. Add the tomato paste and broth, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook another 15 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and carefully in batches, puree the soup in a blender, keeping the lid slightly ajar to let excess steam escape while blending.
  3. Taste, adjust seasonings as needed, and serve.

Ingredient Variation and Substitutions

Can't find fennel? You can use 2 to 3 ribs of celery and roast along with the onion. Celery, like fennel, has a crisp and fresh flavor, and is also quite low in calories.

If you like the flavor, add 1 or 2 anchovies to the roasting pan with the tomatoes. Anchovies contain an umami-producing amino acid known as glutamate, which helps deepen the flavor of tomato based and other savory dishes.

Cooking and Serving Tips

For a more substantial meal, serve with a grilled cheese sandwich or a piece of whole wheat toast (top with pesto, ricotta, or extra virgin olive oil) on the side.

Or, make your own herbed croutons to sprinkle atop the soup.

To make croutons, tear a crusty loaf of bread into hunks, place on a baking sheet and toss with chopped garlic, herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake in a 350F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and just crispy.

Save the fennel fronds and use as a garnish for the soup.

Save the stalks and add them to a homemade vegetable stock. You can save the stalks along with other vegetable odds and ends in your freezer until you have enough to simmer in a pot.

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