Tomato, Sausage, and Fennel Soup
This aromatic and hearty recipe features a hat-trick of fennel: from the tender bits of fresh fennel bulb, to the infusion of ground fennel seed, and, finally, the fennel-laced Italian sausage.
This recipe happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, and low-carb, but feel free to make adaptations as it suits your dietary needs. I've added several substitution instructions to the recipe (below).
While you don't have to make your own, I do recommend using my recipe for homemade Sweet Italian Sausage to make this soup extra divine. It's SO easy to whip up, and 100% free of funky, artificial ingredients you might find in the factory-made stuff, and 100% delicious.
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This recipe was originally inspired by “Tomato Soup with Two Fennels,” from Molly Wizenberg’s foodoir, A Homemade Life. After many incarnations, additions, and tweaks I can safely claim this version as my own. Still, I think of Molly's writing and her wonderful, well-tested recipes every time I make it.
Fennel, with its crisp licorice perfume, is like a flavor cousin to basil (another tomato lover). It’s also a key ingredient in my Sweet Italian Sausage, which is featured in this tasty pot. That triple-hit of fennel, from fresh fennel bulb, fennel seeds, and the fennel-laced sausage is what elevates the flavor of this soup and makes is something special.
A note about nightshades: Tomatoes, obviously, are one of the main ingredients in this soup. While tomatoes have plenty of health benefits, they are in the nightshade family and should be avoided by those who are sensitive to nightshades or those who are on a strict elimination diet like AIP.
If you happen to be in the no-nightshade camp, check out some of my other nightshade-free soup recipes like Turkey Albondigas or Creamy Carrot Coconut Soup.
- Optional garnishes: Wispy fennel fronds, chopped fresh parsley, basil ribbons, or fresh thyme leaves.
- Hearty version (non-Paleo): Add one 15-oz. can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Vegan version: Replace chicken stock with vegetable broth. Omit sausage. Add one 15-oz. can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Thyroid-healthy Recipe Highlights:
- Fennel is a very good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, the latter of which can alleviate constipation. It is used medicinally as a digestive aid for issues such as heartburn, gas, and bloating.
- Tomatoes are a good source of key thyroid nutrients like vitamin A, Iron, and fiber. They are a very good source of vitamin C. A study recently shared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism stated, “In patients with hypothyroidism and gastrointestinal pathology, vitamin C improves the abnormalities in serum free T4, T3, and TSH concentrations.”
- A 3-ounce serving of pork contains 103% DV for tyrosine, 63% DV for selenium, and 17% DV for Zinc– 3 key nutrients for thyroid health.
- Bone broth is one of the most highly recommended foods for anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s. The collagen and glycine can help repair cell damage in the intestinal tract.
- Carrots: 1 cup of carrots contains 3.6 grams of fiber, which can help relieve constipation, sometimes caused by hypothyroidism. They are also low in calories and a good choice for weight loss. 1 cup of carrots provides 428% DV of Vitamin A.
Happy cooking, happy thriving, and enjoy the recipe (below)!
P.S. Need more thyroid-friendly recipe inspiration? I’ve got you covered. My Thyroid-friendly Everyday eCookbook features over 50 quick and easy, thyroid-friendly recipes your whole family will love. To take a peek at what’s inside, CLICK HERE.
More Thyroid-healthy Soup Recipes:
- Italian Sausage Minestrone
- Turkey Albondigas
- Hoppin' John Soup
- Zucchini Basil Breakfast Soup
- Creamy Carrot Coconut Soup
- Thai Chicken Soup
- Lamb Stew with Mushrooms & Red Wine
- Red Lentil Rainbow Soup
- Beef Borscht