Summer Tomato Soup
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.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and 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 fresh fines herbes (combination of parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives)
- Crème fraîche for garnish
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.
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 just before serving.
To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and drizzle with crème fraîche. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen 2016)