David Scott AllenProvencal RecipesSoupTaste

Provence in a Bowl Fennel Tomato Soup with Pastis

In his easy recipe, David has combined iconic tastes of Provence – tomatoes, fennel and Pastis – into a bowl (original Cocoa & Lavender post here).

In summer months, local market stands showcase tomatoes of every description from trendy multi-coloured heirloom varieties to a Provencal version of the juicy beefsteak to tiny cocktail versions. Fennel grows wild along the side of the road, where sensible cooks harvest the stocks for use in recipes at a later date. On the fennel theme, Pastis is a popular anise-flavoured liqueur that turns a cloudy yellow when water is added to the glass.

Hierloom Tomatoes #Tomatoes in #Provence @PerfProvence

Fennel Tomato Soup Pastis @CocoaandLavender

Fennel-Tomato Soup with Pastis

Like many soup recipes this one is easy to make, when summer tomatoes start tempt you.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 People


  • 8 tbsp Butter
  • 1 large Fennel Bulb chopped with feather fronds reserved
  • 1 large Sweet onion chopped
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Chimayo chile powder or other mild chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 35-oz can (1L) Peeled Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 4 tbsp Pastis or to taste


  • Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. 
  • Add the chopped fennel and onion and cook over medium-low heat until vegetables are soft - about 20 minutes. 
  • Add salt, chile and pepper, and cook one minute more.
  • Add the tomatoes and all the juices form the can, stir well and bring to a boil. 
  • Reduce heat and cook a simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Set aside to let cool slightly.
  • Purée the soup in two batches in a blender, adding 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock to each batch. 
  • Put the soup through the finest disk of a food mill into a clean pan and add the pastis, stirring to blend. 
  • Thoroughly wash the feathery fennel fronds and reserve 8 small stems for garnish, if desired. 
  • Chop remaining fronds and stir in 1/4 cup (packed) to the soup.  Bring to a simmer and serve.


The recipe makes 8 one-half cup servings.
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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