Macrina Bakery's Tomato and Fennel Soup with White Beans
  • 1 cup dried white beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, diced
  • 1 tbsp ground fennel seed
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried)
  • 10 Roma tomatoes
  • 6 to 8 cups vegetable stock
  1. Soak beans in water overnight.
  2. Drain beans and place in a medium saucepan with two bay leaves. Cover with water and cook over medium heat until slightly tender, about 20 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain beans and set aside.
  3. Boil water in a large pot. Core tomatoes and score bottoms with an x. Plunge tomatoes into the boiling water for about 30 seconds, then remove tomatoes and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Peel skins from tomatoes, then seed them and cut into pieces.
  4. Combine olive oil, onion, and fennel in a large pot. Cover pot and cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat to sweat the vegetables, stirring occasionally. When the onions are translucent, add garlic, fennel seed, and thyme. Cook one more minute, until garlic is fragrant.
  5. Add tomatoes and cook 20-30 minutes over medium heat, until tomatoes are falling apart. Add reserved bean liquid and 6 cups of the stock, bring to a boil, and simmer another 20 minutes over medium heat to bring the flavors together. Add more stock as needed.
  6. Add the beans, heat through, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
I used approximately half the amount of tomatoes called for, which resulted in a nice, brothy soup. I inadvertently used whole fennel seed rather than ground, which I don't recommend unless you like little chewy seeds in your soup. the original recipe calls for garnishing the soup with fresh fennel fronds and aioli, either of which would be nice, but aren't necessary.
Recipe by Sprung At Last at