Tomato and fennel soup

Tomato-Fennel Soup

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Although the health benefits of chicken broth enhance this rich soup; you may use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version that still boasts antioxidants, vitamin C and the flavonoids rutin and quercitin (from the fennel) found in many natural cold remedies. Tomatoes and other red foods are rich in the phytonutrients lycopene and anthocyanin that benefit the heart and circulatory system by helping to build healthy cells. The more vegetables introduced, the more optimal phytonutrients, so eat the colors of the rainbow.

SERVES: 8-10

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, (~3 cups chopped) cleaned, cored and chopped (stalks and fronds may be reserved for another use, like juicing)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (divided)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or broth
  •  1 small shallot, minced (1/4 cup)
  •  1 teaspoon fennel seeds 
  • 4 (400 gram) containers chopped tomatoes packed in purée
  • 2-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
  •  1/2 teaspoon black pepper
     
  1. Heat large pot over medium heat; add oil; add fennel, onion and 1/2 teaspoon Sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine (or broth substitution); reduce heat to medium-low; cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in shallot and fennel seeds; cook 4 more minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes and 2 cups broth. Bring to a simmer and cook gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Taste and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  3. Purée soup in batches using a blender or food processor; add additional broth if needed to reach desired consistency. Do not fill blender more than half full and cover blender with a dish towel before turning it on to avoid being burned. Return to pot to keep warm.

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Sueson Vess is a professional chef, author/food writer and educator helping people eat healthier, especially those with food intolerances and others with chronic illnesses. She is passionate about nutrition and helping others achieve and maintain a “good for your health” lifestyle. There are always delicious, helpful and healthy solutions! Her focus is on “Foods with Benefits” – learning to increase delicious beneficial foods in your daily life. Sueson makes bone broth at Nature’s Own in North Carolina, and teaches cooking classes at FirstHeath and Duke Cancer Center. She is a regular contributing writer for Sandhills Naturally and Gluten-Free & More publications.