to blend or not to blend?

good morning world! what a wonderful and relaxing weekend this has been. i hope everyone feels ready for spring - i know i do - i'm sick of the freeze. yesterday, phil and i were treated to a lovely lunch (which i will be blogging about later) - with the raw brownie for dessert. YUM, by the way.

so for dinner, we wanted something pretty light. however, we have a difference of opinion when it comes to soup. phil prefers his blended - i prefer mine in it's natural form. i like to be able to see and taste the individual parts of the soup. phil would rather have the smooth consistency. so we compromised - i scooped out a bowl full of soup before he obliterated his with the immersion blender. perfect!

he also had his soup with some cheesy mustard-y toast. to all of you lucky ducks who can tolerate dairy and gluten, i highly suggest having this with your soup. i know phil is enjoying his meal because he goes extremely quiet and gobbles everything up in record time. consider this meal a win.

tomato and cannellini bean soup

serves 4 - first photo is my unblended version, second photo is phil's blended version with cheesy toast

the particulars:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cans plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained
  • pesto, to serve (optional)
  1. heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. let it cook for 5 minutes or so before adding the garlic and fennel. fry for a few minutes before, then add the tomato paste. stir to coat everything. cook for 5 minutes.
  2. add the plum tomatoes and vegetable stock. bring to a simmer, then turn down and cook for 15 minutes or more.
  3. add the beans and simmer for 5 minutes. season and serve with a dollop of pesto on top (if you want...)
  4. blend. or don't.

lesson learned: this is a brilliant take on traditional tomato soup. the fennel and beans bring another dimension to the flavors. if you choose not to blend, it may be better to use something other than plum tomatoes from a can, as these are pretty large and retain their heat (i.e. burnt tongues).