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Seasonal food blog of Chef Deborah at Cuvée at The Greenporter Hotel

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese: Tomato Fennel with Melted Smoked Gouda Crouton

May 3rd, 2012 · 1 Comment · Allergies, canning, City Cooking, Dinner, Entertaining, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Greenport, Italian, Kosher, Low-Calorie, Lunch, New York City, North Fork, Soups & Bisques, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter Recipes

Photo by Ila Nguyen-Hayama

Every Spring, one of the first things to come up in my garden is the wild fennel. Since I foolishly did not plant it in containers, this evasive but delicious fern is plentiful at The Greenporter. It is great in salads and soups and makes a lovely garnish. I also like it in a tomato-fennel bisque, a great soup for any season. I serve it hot with grilled cheese or chilled with a garnish of paprika-spiced almonds and some cheese sticks.

This recipe calls for fresh tomatoes, fresh fennel and shallots. On the North Fork or, Zone 6, (for you avid gardeners), you’ll know that tomatoes aren’t the best during most times of the year so canned may even be better. However, you will get a great deal on hot house tomatoes or imperfect tomatoes, you won’t know the difference once blended in this soup so buy them if they’re on sale. For the grilled cheese we’ll try some creamy smoked gouda.

Gardening note for your calendar: Decide which tomatoes you want to plant next year so you have plenty of tomatoes to can early or freeze, so you can enjoy the farm to table experience year round like this tomato soup.
If you have a Pannini press, you’ll be all set and if not, get one on your wish list.
Tomato Fennel Soup
Servings: Serves 4
Soup Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil from Vines & Branches in Greenport
2 chopped shallots
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small fennel bulb (or half of a large one), chopped or one cup of diced fennel stems
2 cups of your canned summer tomatoes or fresh
1 teaspoon of smoked Spanish Paprika (Pimenton), available at The Market in Greenport
1 cup garden stock or chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Grilled Cheese Ingredients:
1 crispy fresh French baguette, pan de mie/brioche or your favorite bread
Slice Smoked Gouda, available at The Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck
Slice and brush bread with EVOO, place cheese on bread
Press till cheese is melted
Grilled cheese preparation:
Soup Preparations:
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, celery, garlic and fennel. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and broth and simmer 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat allow to cool. Then purée the soup with an emersion blender or in a standard blender.
Season with salt and pepper and paprika and serve hot or cold.
Serve these fall flavors paired with a local White Merlot, Merlot Bianca, 2010 from Bella Vita Vineyards. You can find their wines in the Ackerly Pond tasting room at 1375 Peconic Lane in the town of Peconic just off Route 25.
With this summer-grown ingredient, summertime flavors can stay with you throughout the year. For more ideas, visit our photo contributor’s blog, Ila Nguyen-Hayama’s, i nom things.
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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Marney White // May 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    You had me at “fennel”, but then you added “tomato soup” and “smoked gouda”. Chef Deborah, you and your fare are amazing!!!

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