Roasted tomato and fennel soup with black olive and rosemary focaccia

  • Roasted tomato and fennel soup with black olive and rosemary focaccia
  • Roasted tomato and fennel soup with black olive and rosemary focaccia, Photo 2
Recipe type:
Main Dish
Number of serving:
8 servings
20 min
Cook time:
40 min
Ready in:
1 hour
Very Easy


- 2 libras fresh tomatoes - as many or as few varieties as you like so long as they're fresh
- 2 fennel bulbs, the end removed and the bulbs quartered
- 1 red onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 cloves of garlic, skins left on but ends removed
- 250 mls medium-dry white wine
- 1 pint light chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 4 rashers smoked pancetta or smoked streaky bacon
- 2 heaped teaspoons fennel seeds
- Half a teaspoon dried chili flakes (or more if you like it hotter)
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil for cooking
- The best quality extra virgin olive oil you can find
- Grated Parmesan and creme fraiche to serve

- 500 g bread making flour
- 1.5 teaspoons fast action granular yeast
- 300mls tepid water
- The best quality extra virgin olive oil you can find
Several sprigs of fresh rosemary, the stalks removed
- A handful of pitted black olives
- Sea salt, 1.5 teaspoons for the dough and more for the topping


Step 1

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Place the tomatoes, fresh fennel, dried chillies, onion and garlic into a large roasting tin and give a generous coating of olive oil (doesn't need to be extra virgin for this as they'll be cooking at a heat that ruins it).

Step 2

Add a scrunch of salt and a grind of pepper and put into the oven. Cook for 2 hours, turning occasionally to make sure the vegetables cook evenly all over.

Step 3

While the vegetables are roasting its time to start the bread. In a bowl mix the flour, 1.5 teaspoons salt and yeast together with a fork, make a well in the centre and add a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and the water, then time to mix with your hands to form a sticky dough.

Step 4

Bring the dough together in the bowl and then lightly flour a work surface and turn it out. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding more flour if it begins to get too sticky, then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and put somewhere warm to rise (airing cupboard or in front of a radiator propped on something like a chair).

Step 5

Back to the soup:
Now the vegetables should have reduced in bulk and begun blackening at the edges and be generally golden brown all over. Remove them from the oven and put into a food processor or blender. Add the pancetta to the food processor and a generous glug of the good extra virgin and blitz until smooth. Turn the oven up to 200degrees ready to put the bread in. Transfer the soup mixture to a large saucepan, add the stock, wine, fennel seeds, white balsamic and turn it onto its lowest heat and put the lid on, simmer on this low heat until the focaccia is ready.

Step 6

Finishing the focaccia: After 1.5 hours proving remove the dough and knock the air out of it by kneading it a couple more times, then place it onto a lightly oiled baking tray. Prod the dough with your fingertips creating little wells, drizzle the extra virgin into them and then pinch some of the little wells shut, trapping the oil inside. Top with black olives, the rosemary sprigs and a scrunch of sea salt, and place into the oven for 30 minutes.

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