Creamy Fennel Soup with Herb Salad

Total Time:
50 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
30 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 5 bulbs fennel with stalks and feathery green tops (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely ground fennel seeds
  • 6 diagonal-cut slices baguette
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Directions
  • Remove the greens from the fennel stalks, chop them, and reserve. Cut the fennel bulbs and stalks into coarse pieces.

  • Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, 7 minutes. Add the 1 clove garlic and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Increase the heat to high. Add the chopped fennel and the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the fennel is very tender, 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

  • Puree the soup, in batches, in a blender until very smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean soup pot. Add the cream, and season with salt and pepper.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and lemon juice. Add the reserved fennel greens and parsley, toss to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Set the herb salad aside

  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the ground fennel seeds and stir for 30 seconds. Add the baguette slices in a single layer, and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes total. Season with salt, to taste. Remove the baguette slices from the pan and rub each piece lightly on 1 side with the clove of garlic.

  • Warm the soup over medium heat. Ladle it into bowls, place a baguette slice on top of each, and top each slice with some of the herb salad. Serve.


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