From Every Day with Rachael Ray, October 2013
For the Soup Base:
About 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 large bulb fennel, core removed and chopped; reserve a fat handful of fronds 1 large onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, sliced 1 1/2 pounds firm zucchini, 2 medium, seeded and diced Salt and pepper 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock Basil, parsley, mint in any combination, about 1/2 cup total
For the Croutons:
3 to 4 slices good quality white or peasant style bread, toasted
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut
EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
Sea salt and pepper
Small handful grated Pecorino cheese
In medium soup pot, heat olive oil, 3 turns of the pan. Add fennel bulb, onion, garlic and zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Partially cover pot and cook to soften veggies, 10-12 minutes. Add stock and a mugful of water, about 1 1/2 cups; bring to a boil and simmer to combine flavors. Cool and store. Reheat over medium heat. Just before you serve, stir in herbs.
While soup reheats, toast the bread in a hot oven until crusty or char under the broiler. Rub bread with cut garlic and dice. Dress with a little oil and season with salt, pepper and Pecorino. Toast croutons again to crisp edges.
Place toasted bread in bowl and top with soup. Let stand 2-3 minutes for the bread to soften then serve.