Tomato-fennel soup with cashew sour cream

By Wendy Andresen | Jun 10, 2021
Photo by: Wendy Andresen

Tomato soup is one of the ultimate comfort foods, and this version is just different enough to elevate it to company-worthy status.

If you’ve never pared a fennel bulb before, cut it in quarters (or in eighths if it’s a big bulb) from top to bottom and then slice out the core on an angle. Then dice it up. Thinly shaved fennel is also a delicious addition to citrus salads or almost any other dish with tomato.

This recipe for cashew sour cream is so addicting you’ll want to eat it with a spoon.

Ingredients for soup:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cups diced fennel

1/2 cup diced onion

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/8 tsp. five-spice powder

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 cup white wine

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree

Fennel fronds for garnish

Directions for soup:

1. In a soup pot, warm the oil and then add the carrots, fennel, onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender, stirring often.

2. Add the five-spice powder and smoked paprika. Cook for another minute.

3. Add wine and broth and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 20 minutes, until vegetables are very tender.

4. Add tomato puree. Blend the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. Taste for salt. Heat thoroughly and serve with cashew sour cream and fennel frond garnish.

Ingredients for cashew sour cream:

1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup whole raw cashews (no soaking needed)

1 1/4 cups plain unsweetened nondairy milk

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. lactic acid powder (order online)

Directions for cashew sour cream:

1. Add cashews, milk and salt to a blender and process on high speed for 2 full minutes.

2. With the blender running on high speed, add coconut oil in a slow stream.

3. Reduce speed to low and add lactic acid powder.

4. The cream will thicken almost instantly. Turn the blender off and do not continue to process once thickened.

5. Chill thoroughly. Use within 10 days.

Sour cream recipe from "Seitan and Beyond," by Skye Michael Conroy.

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