Anyway, I LOVED this soup. I had come across another recipe for it, and then read a few reviewer's comments on the soup, and decided on a few changes of my own.
Spicy Tomato Crab Bisque-ish
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 fennel bulb, fronds removed, bulb diced
2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 6 ounce can crab meat (or fresh if you can get it)1/4 cup half and half
chili oil, for drizzling
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium. Add onions, fennel (reserve the fronds for later) and garlic. Saute 10-15 minutes, until softened. Add the tomatoes (do not drain them; add the sauce too) and broth. Season with salt and pepper, then add cumin and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, then simmer for 15 minutes. Add more broth if the soup is too thick.
I pureed the soup a bit at this point; just to make it smoother but not to totally mush up the vegetables. Then I added the crab meat, cooked it for a couple minutes, then stirred in the half and half (and FWIW, I used reduced fat half and half). Taste and season again wtih salt and pepper, if needed.
Serve with minced fennel fronds and if you like it spicy, a light drizzle of chili oil. (LIGHT, because that chili oil is spicy stuff :-)