Tomato soup is delicious any time of year. I find it to be both hearty and refreshing. My favorite tomatoes are Italian; I’m a local food advocate, but I bend the rules when it comes to tomatoes…there is a perfection to the Italian tomato. I prefer the San Marzano fruit, however any “Made in Italy” tomato will do. This staple of Italian cuisine is picked from the vine at the peak of ripeness and therefore packed full of sunshine, a touch sweeter than all other tomatoes.
Photo by Victoria Greenstreet
• 28 ounces preserved chopped tomatoes (If not your own preserves then preferably San Marzano)
• 2/3 cup evoo, divided
• 1 large yellow onion, diced
• 1 celery stalk, diced
• 1 small fennel bulb, diced
• 3 large cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 Parmesan rind
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Strain the chopped tomatoes, reserving the juice and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1/3 cup of evoo and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in 425 F oven until caramelized, about 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Saute the onion, celery, fennel, garlic and thyme until softened and transparent, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved juice, chicken stock, bay leaf and Parmesan rind.
Season with salt and pepper and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender about 20 minutes.
5. Remove the remaining Parmesan rind and using an immersion blender puree the soup until smooth. You can also use a traditional blender, make sure to only fill the blender half full of the hot soup otherwise you will have a hot mess splattered all over your kitchen.
Season to taste and garnish with grated Parmesan, a glug of evoo and fresh fennel fronds (if your bulb had any attached).
Victoria Greenstreet is inspired by seasonal ingredients. Her focus is whole foods and gluten-free cookery. She is a classically trained chef, freelance food writer, stylist and photographer. She is currently working on her first cookbook. Visit her blog Honey Dumplings for more recipes and culinary adventures.