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NOTE: If you are not making your own stock from scratch, increase the anise seed and fennel seed to be ground by 1/2 teaspoon each, and add 2 cups of chopped tomatoes when you add your stock made from veggie broth powder or other means. Make the stock and keep it warm over low heat. In a non-stick soup pot, water-saute the onions with 3/4 teaspoon salt, the anise, and the ground fennel. When the onions are soft, add the garlic, carrots, and sliced fennel. Cover the pan and cook the vegetables until they are very tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid, add the sherry, and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the pan is nearly dry. Add the chopped tomatoes (if not already in the stock), tomato puree, 1 quart stock, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a few pinches of sugar if the soup tastes too acidic. Serve with Garlic Croutons and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Garlic Croutons: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lay the slices of baguette on a baking sheet, spray them lightly with cooking spray (optional), and sprinkle the garlic on them generously, adding more to taste. I found that pre-chopped garlic from a jar has enough oil in it that it is perfect to spread on and still use the absolute minimum oil to achieve the desired result. Bake for about 8 minutes, until the croutons are crisp and lightly browned. Serving suggestion: Place one crouton in the bottom of a shallow soup bowl, fill the bowl with soup, and top with 2 or 3 croutons, garlic-side up. Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #216 Date: Sun, 25 Aug 1996 20:58:31 -0700 From: Curtis Jackson
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