One of my all-time favorite savory flavor pairings is tomato and fennel. I know Italians have been onto this for a long time, but I’m fairly new to this combination. I only got turned onto it recently because I bought some pasta sauce seasoning from Pike’s Place Market in Seattle that contained fennel seeds. I loved how the sweetness from the fennel seeds combined with the tart tomato sauce! I am now forever ruined and now fennel seeds can make or break a pasta sauce for me. I know fennel is one of those ingredients where you either love it or you hate it. In this soup, the fennel’s licorice flavor isn’t as strong. I honestly think you could even make a fennel-hater a believer with this soup!
With fall practically here, (even though we had crazy heat waves in San Francisco – it got to 114 F in SF! ) I decided to take my favorite pairing and turn it into a soup! You really don’t need a lot of seasoning for this soup, which makes it such a simple and easy dish to make. Also, it’s done in only 30 minutes! I like serving this with either grilled cheese made with crusty sourdough bread or with gnocchi almost like a soupy sauce!