A quick and easy go-to weeknight meal, this delicious tomato fennel soup with crispy tofu is jam-packed with good-for-you ingredients and bursting with flavour.
It feels so right to share a soup recipe today, given that it’s freezing here in Toronto. Whether you’re shovelling snow in your driveway, making snow angels with the kids (like me) or enjoying the walk with your dog, nothing’s quite as comforting as a warming bowl of soup on a chilly day! In all honesty though, it’s not just the weather that promoted me to make this tomato fennel soup. I *love* making soups; they’re easy to whip up, and the flavour options are endless. Not-to-mention, I did say I’m a dipper; a nice hunk of bread, cracker or roti is the perfect accompaniment for any soup. You know what I mean, right?
When I make soup, I make big batches so I have leftovers for the week and the freezer. My freezer is stocked full of this tomato and fennel soup and my Spicy Lauki (Opo Squash) Soup, to keep us ticking along this week.
What’s the fuzz with fennel?
Fennel is such a refreshing addition to this recipe, and gives a sweet and liquorice tinge to the soup. Popularly used in Mediterranean cuisine, it belongs to the Umbellifereae family – closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander. Readily available all year round in Toronto, it tastes great raw or cooked. We enjoy it tossed in salads, thrown in stews, soups and curries and even roasted. Did you know that all parts of fresh fennel are edible? You don’t want to waste any part of this delicious sweet and crunchy vegetable.
Let’s talk about it’s nutritional value: it certainly delivers in that department too. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, fennel is low in calories, fat-free and a rich source of antioxidants, it’s a source of folate, potassium and vitamin C. Growing up, when we suffered from bloating or a tummy ache, mum would often give us fennel seeds. Besides aiding digestion, fennel is also regarded to be a natural diuretic and a breath freshener.
How to make Tomato Fennel Soup with Tofu
You all know my diet is predominantly plant-based, and this super-yummy and well balanced soup doesn’t require any meat – the tofu does the trick! Pan-frying the tofu gives it a delicious caramelised flavour with a crisp exterior – perfect way to create palate-pleasing textures and boost your protein intake.
To save more time in the kitchen, I roughly chop the veggies and keep it rustic. And pan-frying the tofu whilst the veggies are cooking away will save even more time . Remember to drain the tofu for at least 20 minutes before frying. If you want the pieces to be more crispy, send them in the oven at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes after pan-frying.
Once the veggies are cooked, the key step is to blend all the vegetables in a blender. I use my Vitamix, and the end result is a soup that’s creamy, dreamy and absolutely delicious!