It’s good to have a few soup recipes you can call on again and again for an easy meal. We think it’s time to change up your soup routine with something a little different. Fennel.
Not familiar with fennel? I wasn’t either until a few years ago. In season from mid-fall to early spring, it’s most often associated with Italian cuisine. My first foray into cooking with it involved a very dull knife, a giant fennel bulb, and an extremely large bunch of Swiss chard. The dish involved some serious knife work, but after one bite of this sweet aromatic, I was hooked. Needless to say, I’ve come a long way and fennel is a regular seasonal resident of the vegetable drawer. It should be available at your local supermarket. Choose firm, greenish-white bulbs with no soft or brown spots. If the fronds are still attached, they should be bright green with no signs of wilting. Fennel will keep in the refrigerator for three to five days.
Roasting fennel enhances the sweetness, and paired up with leeks, potato, and some heavy cream, makes a soup you will be craving again and again.
- 4 slices thickcountry white bread cut into large cubes
- 6 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper divided
- 2 medium fennel bulbs cored and cut into thin slices, fronds reserved
- 1 slices leek white and light green parts only, cut into thinand rinsed well
- 1 small russet potato peeled and cut into small chunks
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup dry white wine such as chenin blanc
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- Preheat the oven to Bake 400°F. Line the baking pan with aluminum foil. In the lined pan, toss the bread cubes with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, cheese, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon white pepper. Bake the croutons until crispy and browned, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Transfer croutons on foil to a cooling rack.
- Set the oven to Roast 400°F. In the baking pan, toss fennel, leek and potato with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Roast the vegetables until softened and starting to brown, 30-35 minutes.
- Add broth, cream, wine, vinegar, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon white pepper to blender in the order listed. Add roasted vegetables. Select the Soup setting and press start. Once the cycle finishes, pour soup into serving bowls. Chop reserved fennel fronds. Sprinkle on soup and top with croutons.
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