Winter soup recipe

The weeks are folding into themselves and ever shortening. The other day I told Jared how amazing I thought it was that every year my body instinctively wants to go into hibernation mode. The sun is now setting at around 6:22pm and it’s right about that time that I want to curl up with a giant blanket, pull on thick socks and read a book. I’m a homebody by nature, so this is not at all an un-welcome event.

And the light this time of year (love it!), it hangs so low in the sky that when you’re wandering through the woods on a Fall morning hike, you realize that if you didn’t know what time it was when you left the parking lot, you’d think it could be perpetually dusk. Which is another reason for wanting to cozy up and get comfortable.

To help keep with the cozy vibe, there’s nothing I like to cook more than soup. I’ve made so many batches, all different kinds, for several weeks now, but this one was a pleasant surprise. There is something ultra comfort food sounding to me when you combine potatoes with tomatoes and for a twist add fennel. Looking at the ingredient list I know it may seem like an oddball mix of veggies, but I swear it’s a rather delightful soup and one I know I’m going to keep in rotation throughout Winter.

Potato, Fennel & Tomato Soup / serves 4-6
Adapted from The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 jalapeño’s, seeded and minced
1 large fennel bulb, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
3 medium yellow or red potatoes
2 14oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 cups water
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
fennel fronds for serving, optional
Parmesan for serving, optional

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, and jalapeño’s and cook until soft. Stir in the fennel and garlic, cook until fennel is soft. Add the sugar, potatoes, tomatoes, and water. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and cover for 50-60 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in the fresh basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot topped with fennel fronds and Parmesan.