Recipe: Smoked Fennel and Tomato Soup

In mid-September, tomato lovers from across the country took to Santa Rosa, Calif. to attend the 16th Annual Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato festival. At the festival, Kendall-Jackson Executive Chef Justin Wangler shared a few recipes with "CBS This Morning." Wangler and his team crafted the recipes to celebrate the heirloom tomato and showcase its dynamic flavors.

Chef Wanglers says dish below is great for your vegetarian friends because the smoked fennel and onion make this soup taste like bacon has been added. The sweetness of the smoked fennel makes a perfect match for the soft, smoky finish of a pinot noir.

RECIPE: Smoked Fennel and Tomato Soup

Serves 8

  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch thick rings
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seed
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced small
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 lbs. red heirloom tomatoes, cores removed and rough chopped
  • 12 ounces heavy cream

Place 2 tablespoons of finely ground oak chips in smoker and heat on stovetop (make sure to do this in a well ventilated kitchen or outdoors). Allow the chips to burn and then cover to put out the flames. Let the chips smolder until the smoke color changes from a greenish hue to white.

Place the fennel and onion into the smoker and smoke for 4 minutes over medium heat. Remove the fennel and onion and rough chop into small pieces.

In a large sauce pot, melt the butter and add fennel, onion, fennel seed and carrot. Season with salt and sweat over medium heat until vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes or until tomatoes begin to fall apart. Add the cream and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove soup from heat and carefully process in a blender until smooth. Season to taste and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Reheat soup and serve.

Any leftovers can be frozen.