Are you guys starting to realize that I have a bit of a soup addiction? Well, I do. I can't hide it forever, right? Hi, my name is Becka and I am obsessed with soup.
I dare you to find someone who doesn't love tomato soup (especially with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side for dipping, of course). It heals all. And one of the best parts about tomato soup is that you don't have to wait for tomatoes to be in season to make it. Good quality canned tomatoes are perfectly acceptable, and sometimes even preferable, in tomato soups, which makes this recipe one that you can make all year long. I love this recipe because the soup is not completely pureed, so it feels hearty to eat (even though it's very light), and the gremolata adds a surprising, tangy freshness.
Chunky Tomato Soup with Fennel-Orange Gremolata (adapted from Food & Wine)
Serves 8 (less for a main course)
For the soup:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped (save the fronds for the gremolata)
4 thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups water
Two 28-ounce cans peeled Italian tomatoes—drained and finely chopped, juices reserved
Fresh parmesan cheese
For the gremolata:
1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, fennel and thyme and cook the vegetables over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion and fennel are softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the water and the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil. Simmer the soup over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by one-third, about 30 minutes.
Now, make the gremolata. Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Discard the thyme from the soup. Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the pot. Serve the soup with Fennel-Orange Gremolata and fresh parmesan cheese.