Fennel & tomato soup with basil and grilled prawns


Ick ick ick! (Not this dinner) but this WEATHER! It’s completely just hideous in London right now. Middle of august, 18 degrees, constant drizzle or fierce downpours, a chilly old wind and it’s just nasty. I wouldn’t care so much if it wasn’t my mums wedding this Saturday or if I wasn’t going camping straight after that. Why, England, why!!


Humpf. Anyway, at least when the weather is miserable, you can tailor your food to suit your mood. I needed summery flavours and something healthy but eating a salad or similar feels depressing in these conditions. So a soup we have, but indeed one full of the flavours of summer. Fragrant fennel and basil, warm with a tiny touch of chilli and smoked paprika, ripe sweet tomatoes, a little splash of wine and some garlic. Served with some big, delicious grilled prawns on a skewer (to dunk and dip), this soup was exactly what I needed and wanted. A small relief :-)


You will need:

1 white onion, roughly chopped
2 fennel bulbs, roughly chopped
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
150ml white wine
6 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 chicken or veg stock cube
1 tspn chilli flakes
1 tspn smoked paprika
10 basil leaves
1 tspn or so of sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive oil
Salt, pepper


1 – Heat a little oil in a deep pan and add the onion. Cook for five minutes or so then add the fennel. Cook for 10 or so minutes until softened and lightly golden.
2 – Stir in the garlic and bay leaves, then the wine. Cook for a couple of minutes then add the tomatoes.
3 – Add the paprika, basil, sugar and chilli and season to taste. Add the stock cube and enough hot water to cover the softened veg by a centimetre or so.
4 – Simmer the soup for 20 minutes then blend until smooth. Return to the heat and stir in lemon juice to taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
5 – Serve with extra basil leaves, olive oil and a skewer of grilled tiger prawns per person.



11 thoughts on “Fennel & tomato soup with basil and grilled prawns

  1. Fabulous soup! Sounds like the perfect cure for weather blues. I think I’ll try this one. Spot on with the ingredients, especially with the smoked paprika, chili flakes and basil! Oh, and lemon… love this.

  2. I went with the weather, when is cold I cook something that matches it and when is summery I cook something fresh, weird! :P
    This soup looks delicious!

  3. This soup sounds mighty tasty! As for the weather I think we are about to experience a nice little storm… I have a feeling this soup will make everything OK.

  4. The photos from your mum’s wedding looked beautiful in spite of the dreadful weather! I am sorry about the damp and cold during your camping though. It looked freezing! :( Soup is the best kind of food for winter warmth though. I love it, particularly with lots of herby goodness. I hope that you and Scott got to enjoy the flashes of sun yesterday, it was gorgeous! Hugs xx

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