Recipes // Soups // Tomato Fennel Chickpea Soup

Tomato Fennel Chickpea Soup


By Caroline Laskow and Tina Carr


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 head of garlic (about 10 cloves), chopped
  • 6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, crushed
  • 3 fennel bulbs, white parts finely sliced, fronds finely chopped and reserved
  • 5 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
  • 2 whole sprigs rosemary, tied with kitchen twine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 7 cups cooked chickpeas (from 1 pound dried), cooking liquid reserved (may be made up to 2 days in advance)
  • ½ cup red wine (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups creme fraiche


  1. Pesto made with kale, parsley, and fennel fronds or with basil and pine nuts
  2. Red pepper flakes, for serving

Amanda's Grilled Cheese Croutons


  • 8 slices sandwich bread
  • 8 slices melting cheese (sharp cheddar and gruyere are good choices)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter, softened


  1. Melt a schmear of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Assemble 4 cheese sandwiches-2 slices of cheese per sandwich-buttering the outside of the bread.
  2. Fry the sandwiches for 2 minutes on each side, weighed down (with a foil-wrapped brick or can of tomatoes on top of a plate).
  3. Take the sandwiches out of the pan and let them cool off for a few minutes, then cut each sandwich into 8 tiny triangles or cubes, as desired.
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