In a 4-qt. saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and a big pinch of salt. Cook until softened but not browned, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the fennel seeds and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, broth, and orange juice. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium or medium low and simmer for 15 minutes to meld the flavors.
Remove the soup from the heat. Using a hand blender or a regular blender, purée the soup. Add the milk and if the soup seems thick, add more chicken broth until thinned to your liking. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If necessary, gently reheat before serving.
Serve with warm goat cheese toasts: Mash fresh goat cheese (thinned with a little cream if necessary) with finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. Spread the mixture on toasted baguette slices and put under the broiler to heat the cheese.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on four servings;
Photo: Scott Phillips