It has snowed here in Atlanta – so much that the city has shut down for the second day in a row! I am craving comfort food, so a cup of warm and soothing tomato soup hits the spot. This recipe is quick to make and have simmering on the stove to entice everyone to lunch. It’s full of beautiful colors and flavors, plus it contains lots of “super food” veggies and herbs that Shayna and I both love: cooked tomatoes, garlic, onion, fennel and basil.
Mediterranean Tomato Basil Soup
¼ Cup Plus 2 TB Olive Oil (Additional Olive Oil for Garnish)
1 Medium Red Onion, Coarsely Chopped
1 Head Fennel, Coarsely Chopped (Fronds reserved for Garnish)
Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves Coarsely Chopped
4 LBs Very Ripe Tomatoes (or 4 Cans Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes)
4 Slices, Day Old Rustic Bread, Coarsely Chopped
¼ Cup Sherry Vinegar
½ Tsp Chili Flakes
¼ Cup Packed Basil Leaves, Cut in Chiffonade
Step One In a large stockpot, sauté the onion and fennel until wilted in the 2 TB olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add the garlic, cooking and stirring for an additional minute. Stir in the tomatoes, bread, vinegar, chili flakes and remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes, and turn off the heat. Stir the basil through the soup.
Step Two Puree the soup and top with the fennel fronds. Accompany it with a croustade of grilled bread topped with goat cheese.
FAST FOOD FACT
This soup can be served cold, warm or even room temperature! If you serve it warm, just serve it chunky and stir the basil through the soup before you serve it.