Someone somewhere at sometime probably once said, "all great inventions stand to be reinvented." Which is why today we are talking the mighty bloody Mary and transforming it from a cocktail to a soup. Packed with the punch of fresh (or prepared) horseradish and chili peppers, bright burst of citrus and vinegar, and of course, the natural umami of ripe tomatoes -- the perfect balance of the traditional drink ingredients just beg (BEG!) to be served up in a big bowl. Enjoy this soup cold or warm, for brunch or dinner, with a cocktail or not. —Sodium Girl
4 small bowls
garlic cloves, minced
fennel bulb, fronds chopped (for garnish) and bulb washed and sliced
large tomatoes (heirloom if in season and in budget)
whole black peppercorn
red chili pepper flakes
2-inch piece of fresh horseradish, peeled and grated (or 1 to 2 teaspoons no-salt-added prepared horseradish)
Zest from 1 lime
Juice from 1/2 of lime
apple cider vinegar
Optional: more freshly ground black pepper as needed
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot and when it is hot, add the garlic and the sliced fennel. Allow them to soften and brown a bit, about 6 to 8 minutes. Then add your chopped tomatoes, black peppercorns, and red chili pepper flakes and let them stew until it comes to a boil, about 10 minutes. Lower heat slightly so that the soup gently bubbles and continues cooking for another 20 minutes.
Take the pot off of the heat and using a stand-up blender or immersion blender, puree the mixture until all the bits and pieces have broken down into a smooth, creamy soup.
Pour the soup back into the pot if you’ve used a stand-up blender, and place the pot back on the heat. Bring up the heat until there is a gentle boil. Add the horseradish, lime zest, lime juice, and apple cider vinegar. Stir, taste, and adjust accordingly. Then continue cooking for a final 10 minutes.
When you’re ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sliced cherry tomatoes, extra black pepper if you need more kick, and the raw, diced fennel fronds. Dig in and enjoy.
In January of 2004, I received a diagnosis that changed my life. I was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that in my case attacked my kidneys and brain. Due to the intensity of the initial “flare up” of the disease, I became renal insufficient and eventually faced kidney failure. Amazingly, through great medicine, wonderful family and friends, and an enormous amount of support, I became stronger and healthier and miraculously, my kidneys partially regenerated. I no longer depend on dialysis and by regulating my diet, I depend on fewer medications. Five years later, I work part time and live a full and utterly enjoyable life. My dietary restrictions have transformed into a real passion for food and I hope to be able to pass along my favorite finds to others facing similar dietary challenges. Be creative, be friendly, and be full!