Tomato-Fennel Soup With Brie Toasts Recipe (2024)



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What a delicious soup even in the warm Caribbean weather. Don’t rush sweating the onions and fennel. I love how different this is from regular tomato soup with the licorice flavor from the Pernod and fennel. Used 36 ounces of good quality San Marzano tomatoes, homemade stock and only 1 cup of water. Smelled very good while cooking and expect the leftovers will be awesome after the flavors further develop. Will definitely make again.


HOW HAS THIS NOT RECEIVED MORE 5-STAR REVIEWS?!?! Hyperbole aside, this really is an amazing soup. I've honestly never had better tomato soup of any kind. As Denise mentioned, don't rush the process. Following the recipe will give you a fantastic end-result if you're patient enough to let it. I didn't have Pernod at the time, so I subsidized ouzo for a similar flavor. Having a great blender like a Vitamix that blends very smoothly and thoroughly helps too.


Tweaked this already amazing recipe by hitting it with some parmesan cheese (reggiano, come on now.) and a dash of cinnamon. Give it a shot, you won't regret it.


This is a fantastic recipe. So easy and absolutely delicious. I have made it a few times now and it is always a hit. I've also tampered with it by substituting the chicken stock for crab stock and adding a little cream at the end along with some seared prawns and it was really delicious. You do need to take your time with this soup but it's not at all difficult.

Holley Atkinson

This soup is delicious but credit for the ORIGINAL should be given to Sheila Lukins. It's in her "Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook" and I have been making it for YEARS so I know it well. Melissa has adapted slightly by reducing the butter, adding the chili powder, and cooking off the Pernod early vs stirring in at the end. My own adaption involves putting the soup through a food mill to remove particles of fennel, vs just blending it.


Really phenomenal. I was a little scared it would have too much anise flavor, but the fennel was really delicious.


This a wonderful dish. The flavours are fabulous. As many have mentioned, I cooked the fennel for quite a while to soften. This tomato soup has a lovely subtle tangy zest.

Paula’s notes

Omitted the liqueur and added bay leaf during simmer, then 1/2 cup heavy cream to finish. Parmesan on fennel seed croutons


I have made this so many times now, however, I do not add the 1.5 cups of water. I wait until everything is cooked together and I've blended it with the immersion blender before adding any water, if needed. I like it thicker and not watered down too much. I also bump up the chili powder a smidge. This really is the best tomato soup!

Hope S.

Excellent. Made a double match on a Monday for an easy family dinner party. Rave reviews. It was on the acidic side when I tasted it, so (for my double batch), I added 1.5 T sugar and 1/4 c. Cream to finish it. It was magic. I made this once before but I had to skip the Pernod and it was standard; the Pernod really makes it complex (anise flavor in the end is very mild but sharp and magical).

Anna M

Delicious! I'm a fan of tomato soup and this is the best recipe I have tried so far. It has creaminess and sweetness without recurring to feta cheese or cream. It has depth of flavor, not salty, not sweet, not spicy. This soup is in a marvelous in-between of the best of each. I think the sweating of the onion and fennel plus the kick of the anisette liquor gives a je me dais quoi very difficult to achieve, yet with very simple ingredients. Melissa, this recipe is genius.


This was delicious! I didn't have Pernod so took the advice of another and added 2 T vodka and 1 t anise extract. The fennel/anise flavor isn't identifiable but the soup is wonderfully complex.


This was so lovely, well worth the time of thoroughly sweating the fennel and onion at the beginning. The fennel flavor of this soup is lovely and subtle, adding an herby sweetness. Complex but not heavy. I subbed Herbsaint for the Pernod, and used better than bouillon "no chicken" base for the broth to make it vegetarian. I did not make the crostinis but instead made grilled cheese with cheddar, habanero cheddar, chevre, and apples. It was delicious!


(Notes on recipe from 6 April 2013):Very good. Made half recipe without butter: Simmer all soup ingredients together till soft, puree with immersion blender, and add 1 Tbs. butter before serving.

delicious, thick soup

The subtle and not so subtle flavors in this soup make it one of my go-to’s. It is delicious and very healthy (the best of both worlds you could say)! Agree to not rush sweating. The first time making it, I was a little surprised how thick it is. I prefer it that way but if you want a little more watery soup, add more stock so the flavors aren’t diluted and skip thickening after blending. The Brie bites were perfection— I would even make them by themselves for a easy appetizer.


Melissa Clark - Sheila Lukins would be so proud of you.


Substitute if you don’t want to shell out for Pernod - 1.5 teaspoons of Anise Extract, 2 tablespoons of vodka


Just made this - used Poire William - no Pernod, otherwise followed recipe. First taste says a keeper. Has that texture and flavour of a post-war child hood favourite ( way back in the last century!) cream of tomato soup. Will make grilled cheese sandwiches with Stilton tonight and enjoy a nostalgic dinner.


Used sambuca instead of Pernod. Great soup, amazing flavors, bright colors, and the toasts are great!

Loved This Soup

This is a sublime soup recipe. I don’t like mine so thick, so I added extra chicken stock at the end to get my preferred consistency.

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Tomato-Fennel Soup With Brie Toasts Recipe (2024)
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