Tomato Fennel Soup
The first time I saw fennel, I thought it was from outer space. Turns out, it’s delicious.
If you’ve ever walked through a farmer’s market in the spring, you’ve likely seen fennel. The large bulb with feathery fronds sticking off of it makes itself easily seen. However, you may be tempted to walk right by not knowing what on earth to do with such a vegetable. I’ve been there, I get it!
Fennel is such an interesting looking vegetable, but what you might not know is that it is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C, as we know, is an antioxidant powerhouse. It provides relief when we’re feeling under the weather, and gives our immune system a huge boost. If you’re wondering about getting “too much” vitamin C, don’t worry. It is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that our body absorbs the amount that it needs and then we release the rest. Getting too much vitamin C from food alone would be very difficult.
Fennel is also a great source of fiber, which helps us to feel full, but also helps to clean the toxins out of our bodies. Fiber is also found to be useful in lowering cholesterol. It’s pretty important to get enough fiber in your diet through fruits and vegetables!
Now that you know the benefits, what should you actually DO once you take the plunge and buy that crazy fennel bulb?
Lucky for you, there are lots of options. You could pickle it and add it to salads. It can be sauteed with onions and eaten as a side dish. You can slice it thin and add to sandwiches or salads. You can eat it raw (it has the texture of celery.) And you can add it to a soup, like I’m going to share with you today. However you choose, just be sure to give it a whirl!
Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk for a minute about how to prepare this glorious vegetable. First, you’ll want to cut the fronds off of the bulb (for this recipe we will only use the bulb, but stay tuned and next time I will show you how to use the feathery fronds!) Peel off the outer layer of the bulb (sometimes they are really dirty!) and give the bulb a good wash in cold water. Cut the very bottom of the bulb off and then cut in half from top to bottom. You should see a triangular shaped core at the bottom of each side. You’ll want to cut that part out. After that, just dice and proceed!
Now, let’s get to making this soup!
Tomato Fennel Soup
Makes approximately 6 cups
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 fennel bulb, chopped
2 LBS tomatoes (about 4 large tomatoes), cut into large chunks
4 c vegetable broth (homemade or store bought)
Salt & pepper
Heat coconut oil in a stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt while cooking onion to help release juices. Add garlic and saute another 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add chopped fennel to pan and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and let heat through a bit until skins start to get soft. Now add your vegetable stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lower heat to medium low and allow soup to cook for about 20 minutes until everything is soft. Remove soup from stove and use an immersion blender or high-speed blender (being careful to vent the cover) to puree the soup. Return back to the pot and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy with your favorite crusty bread or salad! Bon appetit!