South of France Tomato Soup
- Generous 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- Generous 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Generous 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- A big handful washed basil leaves
- Good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 medium onions , fine chopped
- Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
- 3 large garlic cloves , minced
- Generous 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/3 cup dry vermouth
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes , peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 14- ounce cans chicken or vegetable broth and 2/3 cup water
- Generous 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon , or to taste
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese , crumbled
Combine the herbs in a small cup. Crush them lightly until they become fragrant. Set aside.
Film the bottom of a 6-quart pot with the olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, salt, and pepper, and cook until golden brown (about 5 to 8 minutes), stirring often. Add the herbs and garlic. Continue cooking until their aromas open up, about 30 seconds.
Blend in the tomato paste until there are no lumps, then add the vermouth and tomatoes. Boil for 2 minutes. Pour in the broth, blend, adjust heat to a light bubble, and cover completely. Cook 20 minutes. Then blend in the cinnamon, and taste the soup for seasoning. Ladle it into bowls, and top with crumbles of goat cheese.