Caramelized fennel soup

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 pounds Fennel bulbs; trim/mince
6 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups Vegetable or chicken broth
½ cup Whipping cream; opt
\N \N Sea salt; to taste
\N \N Fresh rosemary
\N \N Fresh parsley
\N \N Bay leaf
\N \N Fresh thyme
\N \N Tie together with twine


1. Combine fennel and oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot. Stir to coat fennel with oil. Cook, covered, over low heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If fennel burns it will give the soup a bitter taste.

2. Remove lid; continue to cook over low heat. Pieces should gradually brown and caramelize. Add bouquet garni and broth; simmer; covered, 30 minutes.

3. Discard bouquet garni. Using an immersion blender, roughly puree soup in stockpot. (Alternatively, pass soup through coarse blade of food mill or puree coarsely in batches in food processor; and return to stockpot.) Soup should be creamy but not totally smooth. Stir in cream, if using; reheat. Taste for seasoning. Serve piping hot in warmed shallow soup bowls.

NOTE: Fennel has a tough outer skin. It's well worth it to peel it with a vegetable peeler.

Source: "Patricia Wells at Home in Provence" (printed in the Chicago Tribune, February 26, 1997)

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