Soup is one of the good things in life. It warms our tummies and our souls. Each hot spoonful eases our minds and comforts us, embracing us with all its deep, rich, flavours. Soup is like a loving hug from the inside out. I’ve come to love all soups, in all the flavours and textures they come in.
This a perfect day to post a soup recipe. I’m sick in bed with my sick-day crew: laptop, Puffs Plus Lotion tissues, and a cup of tea. I came across this recipe a couple weeks ago on deliciousness (re)visited and tried it out last night. It was the perfect recipe to test out while feeling under the weather because it’s simple and doesn’t require too much work (my perma-headache isn’t allowing too much brainwork).
This was my first time cooking fennel…and using leeks. Fennel bulbs were one of those things I’ve never really known how to use. They looked weird and unfamiliar and I would ignore them at the store. I had no idea how to prep them or what they even tasted like! I discovered, upon giving the bulb a good sniff and then cutting into it, that it has a flavour similar to anise. (That sort of licorice flavour.) If you’re a terrified fennel newbie, here’s a video I found on how to slice fennel. You don’t use the fronds (the top leafy parts). You can keep them to use as a garnish, or I’ve even heard roasting or baking fish on a bed of fennel fronds is really tasty. Watch and learn:
Now, on to the leeks! I had what looked like a giant green onion sitting and staring at me. I wasn’t sure if I should remove leaves or slice the thing whole. Thank goodness for these Youtube videos! I’ve pretty much taught myself everything I know about cooking just by following recipes. When I get really confused, I turn to Youtube, and there’s usually a great tutorial to be found. I find them helpful to include in my recipe posts. Sometimes a video is just so much more clear than words, when it comes to describing certain procedures. Here’s how to clean and cut leeks. For this recipe, you will remove the top darker ends of the leek and slice the rest. Keep the tops for a future veggie broth! 🙂
Roasted Tomato, Leek, and Fennel Soup
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, roasted whole in the oven (I thought my soup could have been a bit more tomato-y, you could add another cup if you like)
- 1 bulb fennel, sliced (Don’t slice too thick, or it’ll take longer to cook…I made this mistake.)
- 1 leek, sliced (bottom portion only, cut off tough/dark top)
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 5 whole cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon aleppo pepper (If you don’t have this, and I didn’t, I’ll show you how to make a substitute.)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 cups chicken broth (veggie broth if you’re doing vegan or vegetarian)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
*Aleppo pepper can be substituted with a mixture of 4 parts sweet paprika, 1 part cayenne powder (I mixed 1 teaspoon paprika with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder, and used 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture for this recipe.)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread tomatoes and garlic cloves on a parchment lined baking tray. Drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Roast for about 20-25 minutes, until tomato skins split and they begin to caramelize a bit.
3. While the tomatoes are roasting, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium to high heat and saute onions for about 3 minutes, or until they turn slightly translucent.
4. Add sliced fennel, leek, and salt to the pan with the onions. Reduce to medium heat and cook, covered, for about 25 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Stir them every now and then.
5. When the tomatoes and garlic have finished roasting, add them into the pan with the other vegetables, along with aleppo pepper, and cook for 5 minutes.
6. Transfer veggies to a medium pot and add chicken broth. Simmer for 15 minutes.
7. Puree with a hand blender. Be careful if it’s hot, don’t spray hot soup in your face! (If you don’t have a hand blender, you can puree in a blender or a food processor in batches.)
8. Season with salt or pepper if needed. If your soup has cooled since you’ve pureed it, warm it up again on low heat.
Now sit back and enjoy this delicious, healthy creation! xx