It took me three years to muster up enough courage to buy a bulb of fennel. Normally, I steer clear of a particular set of vegetables and this licorice-flavored little veggie has always topped the list. So this week on my trip to the grocery store, I stopped at the greens isle for a minute longer and picked up a bulb of fennel. I was planning to roast it along with carrots, asparagus and make a salad but stopped myself in time. I wanted to do something more adventurous so I decided on a pot of soup (see, that is me trying my hands at subtle sarcasm).
The verdict: I loved it! I am generally not a fan of celery, the other veggie known for its licorice flavor but this was more peppery and my taste palate-friendly. Will I buy it again? For sure but this time I should find better ways to use fennel.
This is how I made my pot o’ soup…
Roasted Tomato-Fennel Soup
Five Roma tomatoes, halved, seeded and cored
One medium-size head of fennel, cleaned, cored and diced into chunks
Half a huge white onion, diced into chunks
Five pods of garlic
Two Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
One Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
One tsp fresh lemon zest
Four Tbsp low-fat cream cheese
Scant half a cup reduced fat milk
Two cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock (I used the former)
A pinch of chili flakes
Half a tsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional, recommended for heat-seekers)
One tsp brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Three Tbsp good olive oil
Pre-heat the oven at 400°F. Prepare two sheet trays. Arrange the tomatoes and fennel in one. Pour olive oil on the vegetables, one Tbsp of rosemary, little salt and pepper. Arrange the onions and garlic in the other sheet pan and replicate the seasoning. Roast the onions in the oven for twenty minutes and the tomatoes and fennel for ten minutes more. Once done and cooled down, transfer to the blender, add the thyme and lemon zest and blend it well.
Pour the soup in a pan and heat it. Add the rest of the flavorings, milk and water and let it come to a boil. Reduce heat and add the cream cheese and whisk it until thick and creamy. Check for seasoning. Serve with a dollop of cream cheese, a splash of olive oil and grilled cheese sandwiches. Ooh, yumm!!
Serving Size: half a cup
Total carbs: 16.9g
With sandwich: 40g