Roasted Tomato, Onion, & Fennel Soup

When August rolls around I always know I’ll be looking for ways to use up the baskets of fresh, ripe tomatoes we pick from our garden. There is nothing better than the flavor and aroma of a ripe tomato just picked from the garden whose taste is enhanced by the heat of the summer sun. With my summer tomato bounty I make everything from fresh tomato pasta sauces, roasted tomatoes that are as sweet as candies, tomato jam, stuffed tomatoes with savory fillings, and I also make soups I can serve at room temperature such as this easy, great summer recipe.

This soup was created when I decided to make a room temperature soup with a basket of ripe plum tomatoes and looking through my pantry found onions and found fresh fennel bulbs in my refrigerator. I decided to roast everything and then simply blend it, creating a chunky puree. I made the soup the day before I planned on serving it to help meld and improve the flavor and was very pleased with the final result. Although many folks avoid using their ovens during the worst heat of the summer, you can make this soup first thing in the morning when it is cooler, and allow the flavors to blend throughout the day.

Roasted Onions And Fennel

Roasted Tomatoes

Bowl Of Delicious Roasted Tomato, Fennel, Onion Soup

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Roasted Tomato, Onion, And Fennel Soup

Roasting the vegetables for this soup brings out their natural sweetness.

Ingredients:

  • 24 Medium Large Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion
  • 1 Large Fresh Fennel Bulb
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Thyme
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Chicken Broth

To Serve:

  • Basil Pesto Mixed With Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    or
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare 2 large baking sheets by covering them with aluminum foil.
  3. Cut the tomatoes in half and lay them cut side up on one of the baking sheets.
  4. Finely chop the thyme with two of the garlic cloves and sprinkle this over the tomatoes.
  5. Drizzle the cut side of the tomatoes with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Peel the onion and cut into one inch slices, brush both sides with a little olive oil and place on the other baking sheet.
  7. Cut the fennel in half and remove the core.
  8. Cut off the frond stems and then cut off the fennel leaves, toss them in a little olive oil and place them on the baking sheet with the onions.
  9. Season the onions and fennel with a little salt and pepper.
  10. Place both baking sheets in the oven and bake until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown.
  11. The tomatoes will take about 40 minutes and the onions and fennel may take up to an hour.
  12. Place the vegetables into a food processor and pulse until you have a thick chunky mixture.
  13. Heat another two tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy saucepan and cook the other two garlic cloves, finely minced until fragrant.
  14. Add the tomato mixture, the chopped basil and just enough broth to loosen the soup. (I use about one cup of broth.)
  15. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer, season with salt and pepper and cook for an additional 10 minutes to meld the flavors, adding additional broth if the soup becomes too thick.
  16. Allow the soup to come to room temperature before serving.
  17. Serve the soup at room temperature in individual bowls topped with your garnish of choice.
  18. I mix two tablespoons of pesto with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and drizzle this mixture on top before serving.