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Fennel Tomato Soup

  • Yield: 8 cups, 8 first-course servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fennel, bulb only
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped Italian plum tomatoes (about 6 tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons Pernod
  • 2 quarts Basic Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup coarsely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 8 sprigs fresh fennel leaves


  • Heat the oil in a large soup pot over high heat. Add the finnel and onions and sautÈ for 1 minute. Stir in the garlic and sautÈ for 1 minute. Add the salt and pepper and sautÈ for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and Pernod and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Whisk in the cream, streaming it in slowly, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and purÈe the soup in batches in a food processor. Reheat if necessary.
  • Serve hot, allowing 1 cup of soup per portion. Stir 2 tablespoons Parmesan into each serving . Lay a breadstick across each bowl and hang a fennel spring from each breadstick, so it drapes into the soup.