Raw fennel has a similar taste to anise, but don’t let that intimidate you. Fennel is a flavorful addition to salads, soups and savory dishes, and just happens to be a good source of vitamin C too.
Slow cooking fennel in olive oil or butter, mellows and sweetens the flavor. Smooth and scrumptious, you’ll find this soup surprisingly tasty. The process of sweating the vegetables, bring out the subtle flavors. Consider serving the soup in shot glasses, with a drizzle of maple creme fraiche.
- 4 tablespoons, unsalted butter (or 4 tablespoons of olive oil)
- 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots. peeled, chopped
- 1 small Yukon Gold potato, peeled, halved
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Heat the butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, carrots, potato, thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook. Stir the soup occasionally and reduce heat if needed. Cook the vegetables until they’re soft, but not browned and have released their moisture, about 30-45 minutes (this is called sweating the vegetables).
Add the broth, bring to a boil, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are falling apart, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool slightly and remove the herbs. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or with an immersion blender, until smooth. Optional- strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve or strainer, for a smooth and silky soup.
Mix creme fraiche and maple syrup in a small bowl. Serve soup topped with the creme fraiche and a drizzle of olive oil. The soup makes 6 servings and can be made 3 days ahead.
HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Source: Bon Appetit