The blogger world is a wonderful thing.
Through my afternoon blog reading, I found through s’kat in her announcement of Dave’s twenty and two years FREE OF CANCER (rock on!) that many others are celebrating the good life through nutrient-rich food in a “Cooking to Combat Cancer” roundup hosted by Mele Cotte. Through that round-up, I discovered Ilva from Lucullian Delight‘s contribution: Oven Roasted Fennel and Tomato Soup. I was so taken by the simplistic..well, prettiness of this soup that I immediately printed up the recipe and ran downstairs to make it for dinner.
I just so happened to have a bulb of fennel awaiting some creativity and several carrots and tomatoes in the fridge. Perfect. Not to mention it has been a blustery day out here today.
Of course, I have a tweaking compulsion, as I may have mentioned before, and so I could not resist adding a few things here and there to this already beautiful recipe. I am glad I did. Be sure to check out the original recipe I linked to earlier, for I am about to give you my version here. Since I amped up the amounts of carrots and tomatoes, I felt it more appropriate to spotlight those ingredients in the title.
4 carrots, washed, unpeeled
4 roma tomatoes
1 bulb of fennel
1 red onion, peeled
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
5 cups of broth (I only had chicken broth on hand, Ilva used vegetable – I suppose you could even stick with just water)
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Chop the carrots, tomatoes, fennel and onion to even pieces, and toss with a little salt and olive oil, along with the two cloves of garlic, onto a baking pan. (This is where a piece of stoneware is a beautiful thing.) Roast for about a half hour, until the vegetables are mostly tender.
Meanwhile, combine the stock, a dash of sea salt and pepper in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
When the vegetables are done roasting, add to the simmering stock, place the lid on the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes more.
Blend the soup (right in the pan, if you have an immersion blender!), then swirl in a little olive oil as the final step.
Serve with baguette slices slathered with butter. Seriously.
The sweetness of the carrots and red onion, the acidity of the tomatoes, the bright notes from the fennel and the smoky garlic….wow. This humble soup could not have packed more flavour if it tried. No herbs, no spices, no special tricks. We loved it. And yes, I said we. Including the Husband who loves to eat only meat meat meat…and meat. Notice the complete absence of meat in this dish. He had two bowlfuls. And not out of starvation, but because it is GOOD. The daughter had two mini-person bowlfuls. The son, well, he talks alot at the dinner table, so he only made it through one, but liked it nonetheless.
I stashed a second bowl for my lunch tomorrow. Yum.
(get it? get it!!! rabbit? carrot? oh, nevermind…)