This is a wonderfully hearty vegetarian soup for the remaining wintery days of the year. Quick and easy to prepare, tomatoes and fennel pair nicely to make a tasty soup. Even better, this soup freezes well. Make a double batch and save some for a rainy day.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb (diced)
3 Lightlife Italian Style sausage (sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds)
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons dry white wine
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add fennel, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in sausage and fennel seeds, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until fennel seeds are slightly softened and bits of sausage are stuck to bottom of pan. Add wine and and cook 5 to10 seconds, scraping to deglaze pan. Add broth, tomatoes, vegetable base, and parsley. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and serve with a slice of fresh Ciabatta bread.
Note: I also like to serve this with a nicely grilled cheese sandwich.