[ezcol_1third] This is the third version of tomato soup I've posted on The Spring in as many years, but I can't think of a better recipe to see summer out and welcome the fall in. Tomatoes can be a bit on their last leg this time of year, but fennel which is just coming into season is sweet enough to balance this fresh, hearty soup perfectly. Roasting the vegetables first cuts down on cooking time too making this a brilliant week-night dinner fix to keep on hand.

Tomato Fennel Soup Ingredients:

8 roma tomatoes 1 fennel bulb 3 garlic cloves 2 tbs butter 1 white onion 1 celery stalk 2 carrots water or stock 1 small can of tomato paste 1 tsp herbs de province a few sprigs of fresh thyme 2 bay leaves


1. Cut tomatoes in half, slice fennel root into wedges, and peel garlic cloves. Place on a baking sheet (tomatoes face down) and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop into a fairly hot oven (450°F/230°C) for about 20 minutes.

2. In a large saucepan melt 2tbs butter and add chopped onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté the vegetables until they get fragrant and soft.

3. Take the baking sheet from the oven and  remove any crispy tomato skins. Then transfer the contents of the sheet - juices and all - into the saucepan. Add in a small can of tomato paste, a few sprigs of fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves, and a large pinch of herbs de province. Cover with stock or water and let simmer for 10 minutes.

4. When the soup is done fish out the thyme and bay leaves, then purée in batches.

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Catherine Roberts