Saturday, April 19, 2008

Spicy tomato and fennel soup

Hello everyone, with all the rain and cold weather around in Sydney my thoughts have been turning to soup. I love soup chiefly because it's so comforting, but also because it's such an easy way to eat lots of vegetables. And then I can justify having some chocolate to follow!

Every winter I make several batches of this soup, it is such a favourite of mine. It freezes really well so you can make a big batch to take to work during the week. The first time I made it I realised that vegetable soups work very well without the addition of stock - you just get the beautiful strong flavour of the vegetables. The recipe comes from Bill Granger, it is in his book Bill's Food.

Have a good week, love from Jane xx

Spicy tomato and fennel soup

Serves four

What you need:
  • 2 kg vine ripened tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
To serve: (optional, probably not practical if you are taking small containers of soup to work)
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Slices of bread spread with fresh ricotta and grilled

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200.
  2. Place the vegetables in a roasting tin.
  3. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover with foil and roast for 1 1/2 hours, then remove the foil and roast for another half hour, or until the vegetables are well cooked.
  5. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor or blender and blend until well combined. It is up to you whether you want a completely smooth texture or to leave it slightly chunky.
  6. Return the soup to a saucepan to heat and then serve in soup bowls, topped with basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and the ricotta toast if you wish.