If you have never tried fennel soup, you are really missing out on something unique. It’s like a leek and potato soup with a bit more interest and a great silky texture that just begs for a roaring fire on a wintry day. By roasting the fennel you achieve a lovely charred flavor throughout the soup.
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 leek (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
6 cups chicken stock
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh chives, chopped (1/4 cup)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss the fennel and onions with 1 tablespoon of the oil on a large heavy baking sheet, coating the vegetables. Roast in the oven, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes, or until the fennel and onions are tender. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.Add the leeks and sauté for 5 minutes, or until they have softened slightly. Add the stock, potatoes, and roasted fennel mixture, and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for 18 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender. Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Strain the soup into a clean large saucepan. Add the cream to the soup and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the chives, and serve.
Excerpted from Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone by Curtis Stone © 2009 by Curtis Stone Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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