02/10/2012 05:30 EST | Updated 04/16/2012 05:12 EDT

Roasted Tomato Soup With Feta And Fennel (RECIPE)

Canadian Press

The sweet flavour of plump red tomatoes complements the licorice of the fennel while the creamy goodness of sour cream adds the perfect tang.

This would be an ideal starter for a special dinner to serve on Valentine’s Day.

Roasted Tomato Soup

1 large fennel bulb (about 750 g/1 1/2 lb)

10 plum (Roma) tomatoes, cored and halved

1 large cooking onion, cut into 8 wedges

6 cloves garlic

30 ml (2 tbsp) melted butter

75 ml (1/3 cup) crumbled feta cheese

15 ml (1 tbsp) finely chopped red onion

2 ml (1/2 tsp) freshly ground pepper

125 ml (1/2 cup) sodium-reduced tomato paste, divided

750 ml (3 cups) sodium-reduced chicken stock, divided

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) 5 per cent sour cream

Heat oven to 230 C (450 F).

Trim and coarsely chop fennel bulb; reserve 30 ml (2 tbsp) finely chopped fennel fronds for the topping.

In a large bowl, gently toss tomatoes, fennel, onion and garlic with melted butter. Arrange vegetables (tomatoes cut side up) on large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and caramelized; remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine feta, 30 ml (2 tbsp) reserved fennel fronds, red onion and pepper; set aside.

Working in batches, transfer half the roasted vegetables and any accumulated juices to a food processor or blender; add 50 ml (1/4 cup) of the tomato paste and 175 ml (3/4 cup) of the chicken stock; puree until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Repeat with remaining vegetables, tomato paste and 175 ml (3/4 cup) chicken broth. Stir in remaining chicken stock and sour cream; heat over medium-low heat, stirring often, until well combined and heated through.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with feta cheese mixture. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 169 calories; 6 g protein; 7 g fat; 23 g carbohydrate; 5 g fibre; 332 mg sodium.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada.