French tomato soup with fennel and orange

Another cast iron cookware recipe.   French tomato soup with fennel and orange all done with cast iron but with a little twist.

French tomato soup, with its acidic tomatoes, can pick up a metallic taste when cooked in a seasoned cast iron skillet.  To avoid that, this soup is started in a cast iron pan, then transferred to a blender.  If you have an enameled cast iron skillet use it and skip the blender.


3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small baguette, torn into bite-sized pieces


1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 fennel bulb, cored and roughly chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

3 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons butter

Juice and zest of 1 small orange

4 small tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped

1 can crushed tomatoes(28 oz can)

Ground black pepper


Arrange a wire rack over a baking sheet

Melt the unsalted butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the torn bread and cook until browned, turning frequently.  Remove with a slotted spoon and season immediately with salt.  Reserve until the soup is ready.

Wipe out Dutch oven leaving a bit of oil behind, and set aside.

In a food processor, coarsely chop the onion, fennel, carrots, and garlic.

Heat the Duch oven over medium-high heat, add the onion mixture and thyme, and cook until soft, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the broth and butter and bring to a simmer.

Wipe out the work bowl of the food processor and carefully ladle the mixture back into it.  Add the orange juice and half of the orange zest, rough-chopped tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes.   Process until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve garnished with a few croutons, fennel fronds, and the remaining orange zest.

What are your thoughts on this delicious tomato soup?  Please leave us a comment below.

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