This summertime soup is flavored with fines herbes, a classic combination of chopped fresh parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives. Stir in the herbs just before serving, as extended exposure to heat can dull their flavor. Sour cream or plain yogurt can be substituted for the crème fraiche, if you like.
Summer Tomato Soup
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 fennel bulb., stalks and fronds removed, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) dry vermouth (optional)
- 2 lb. (1 kg) plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbs. chopped fines herbes (parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives)
- Crème fraîche for garnish
1. In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, fennel and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the vermouth and simmer until evaporated. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
2. Working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender, leaving some texture. Return to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the fines herbes and serve, drizzled with crème fraîche. Serves 4.
Find ways to make hectic suppers into fun, relaxed gatherings that
the whole family can enjoy in our cookbook School Night, by Kate McMillan.