I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! Now that we’re fully into the cold weather season, I’ve been trying to make more soups. I’d been dying to try out my new immersion blender given to us as an engagement gift, so last weekend I put it to good use in a soup that appears in this month’s Cooking Light.

I can’t tell you how much fun it was to turn that baby on and watch the chunky liquid turn smooth right before my eyes! Immersion blenders aren’t necessary cooking tools. A regular old blender will do the trick the majority of the time, but immersion blenders definitely save time and create less mess.

The soup below is awesome. I was a little turned off by the recipe at first because of the fennel (licorice-tasting vegetable), but interestingly enough, you can hardly taste it in the finished product!




2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped fennel bulb
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 thyme sprig
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven (or soup pot) over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add fennel; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add broth, tomatoes, and thyme to pan; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 35 minutes.

Remove pan from heat; cool 5 minutes. Discard thyme sprig.

Place half of tomato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until almost smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining tomato mixture.

Note: If you are using an immersion blender, puree the mixture and disregard the paragraph above.

Stir in salt and pepper; keep warm.

Bon Appetit!

Thanks for taking the time to read Hillman’s Helpings!


Lauren Hillman
Hillman’s Helpings