First Course

“This recipe is delicious served hot or cold, which is perfect for Savannah’s finicky holiday weather,” notes Meta Adler, caterer and food stylist. When chilled, Meta likes to top it with jumbo lump crab meat tossed in orange zest and tarragon. When warm, she suggests a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper. Dig in!

Photography by Teresa Earnest

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Meta Adler’s Tomato and Fennel Soup

Serves 8

1 medium onion, diced (approximately 1 cup)

1 fennel bulb, diced (approximately 1 cup)

1 leek, sliced and thoroughly cleaned

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 28-ounce cans of whole, peeled tomatoes

Zest of 1 orange, plus juice

6 sprigs thyme

Salt and pepper

Cut the leek in half and then into thin strips; rinse well under running water. Set aside to drain.

In a soup pot, sauté leeks, onion and fennel in olive oil over medium heat until softened, about 10 minutes.

To the pot, add the tomatoes, stock, orange zest and thyme. Increase the heat and bring the mixture up to a simmer. Allow to cook for 30 minutes, then remove the pot from the burner and let cool for another 30 minutes.

Remove all of the sprigs of thyme and puree the soup with an emersion blender or in a food processor.

If you are serving the soup warm, reheat if needed, and serve immediately.  If you are serving it cold, allow it to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.


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