Farewell to The Minimalist: Tomato, Fennel and Crab Soup

As you may know, Mark Bittman's New York Times column, The Minimalist, ran for the last time last week. The column was required reading in our house, where, like Bittman, we are proponents of good eating through simple cooking. To that end, we wanted to make one of Bittman's recipes with items we already had or could easily, and cheaply, get. It was the fennel left over from our wild boar roast that pointed us in the right direction. That, a coupon for some crabmeat, and items from our pantry, was everything we needed to make his Tomato, Fennel and Crab soup. This recipe is copied from epicurious.com. We'll miss The Minimalist but look forward to more from Mark Bittman.

Note: The only change we made was to include fewer onions (about 3 cups instead of 3 1/2).


1/4 cup olive oil
3 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 medium fennel bulbs with fronds; bulbs cored, thinly sliced, fronds chopped and reserved
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
2 cups (or more) vegetable broth
8 ounces fresh crabmeat, picked over
Additional olive oil
4 1/2-inch-thick slices pain rustique or rustic whole wheat bread, toasted

Heat 1/4 cup oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, fennel slices, and garlic; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté until onions and fennel are tender, stirring often and adjusting heat to medium if browning too quickly, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice and 2 cups broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until flavors blend and vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in crabmeat and add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin soup, if desired; simmer just until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle each with chopped fennel fronds. Drizzle each serving with oil. Serve with toasts.


Jill Colonna said...

Your soup looks absolutely delicious. Now who would have thought of such a wonderful combo?

Anonymous said...

Hello fellow CT foodie! I really like this, I am in love with crab so this is right up my alley :-)

Anonymous said...

That's so creative to use fennel. I like it when people think out of the box! Thanks for the add on FoodBuzz! It's great to meet other food bloggers! All the best!