Friday, December 19, 2008

What's cooking: Fennel leek potato soup

It is my enormous fortune to have a kid who likes fennel. She is no doubt influenced by that fact that it is one of her dad's favorite vegetables. When she sees a large display of fennel at the produce market, she always suggests we buy him some.

Husband think sliced raw fennel drizzled with olive oil is a perfect way to enjoy this vegetable, but the cold weather we have been having has had me thinking SOUP.

This recipe has two great things going for it that really give it a rich full fennel taste:

Steeping fennel seeds and dried tarragon in the cream added at the end of the soup (fine to use half and half or whole milk)

Sauteing the fennel and leeks until they are slightly caramelized.

Along with pannini grilled sandwiches (goat brie, havarti, and prosciutto) and a green salad, this made a perfect chilly weekday night dinner. 


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 cups sliced cored fresh fennel bulbs (from about 4 large)
4 medium leeks, sliced using white parts only (save green tops for the stockpot)

8 ounces white-skinned potatoes, peeled, diced
4 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup cream, half and half, or whole milk
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon

Heat oil and butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add fennel and leeks. Saute until softened, then reduce heat and continue cooking, stirring often, until vegetables are slightly browned and caramelized. 

Add broth, lemon juice, and potatoes; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Meanwhile, bring cream, fennel seeds, and tarragon to boil in heavy small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 20 minutes so that flavors blend. Pour through sieve to remove herbs.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream mixture. Simmer until flavors blend, about 5 minutes, thinning with more broth if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more lemon juice to taste. 


Ned said...

I think my son has a crush on Sophie!

adozeneggs said...

Sophie is adorable.
I love fennel roasted in olive oil and salt. Have you tried it this way? It's so so good. My husband doesn't like fennel, but I make it anyway and eat it all myself!

The Mrs. said...

Holy Moly that sounds and looks amazing!

Midnight Madras said...

Darn you!!!! Everytime I think I am going to stay out of the kitchen you post something like this and now I am drooling on the keyboard. YUM.

Purple Flowers said...

That looks like a serious comfort meal.

Auntie Pockets said...


Jennifer H said...

Please adopt me. I like fennel.

I'll just bet your house smells soo good when you make that. Yum.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I just made this tonight. Thanks for sharing- it was delish!