Saturday, September 28, 2013

Zuppa di Finocchio - Creamy Fennel Soup

I'm still able to buy fennel very cheaply. Last weekend I bought several large bulbs to try an idea I'd been mulling over. I wanted to make a creamy fennel soup that had an unmistakably anise flavor, but had the same grainy texture as a properly made potato soup. How hard could it be? I set to work and did the requisite dicing and slicing and had my pot on the stove in 30 minutes. In addition to fennel, the pot contain a large potato to help with thickening, some celery and, most importantly, finely ground caraway seeds to boost the anise flavor. I let the contents of the pot simmer for about an hour, then pureed the contents of the pot using an immersion blender. I thinned the soup with light cream, garnished it with fennel fronds and served it warm with seeded rye croutons. It was really good and I'll definitely be making it again. I gave it an Italian name to give it more panache. I thought some of you might enjoy the recipe. Here's how it's made.

Zuppa di Finocchio - Creamy Fennel Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


2 tablespoons olive oil

3 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and coarsely chopped

1 (8 to 12-oz.) large Idaho potato, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/2 to 1 teaspoon teaspoon pulverized caraway seeds

4 cups low-sodium Chicken broth

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup light cream

Garnish: fennel fronds


1) Heat olive oil in a large (4 to 5-quart) pan. Add fennel, potato, celery, and garlic. Cover pan, reduce heat, and sweat vegetables until soft but not brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add pulverized caraway seed, chicken broth, bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, partially covered, for 50 minutes. Remove bay leaf

2) Puree soup with an immersion blender. Strain soup if desired. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fennel fronds. Serve with seeded rye croutons. Yield: 5 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Mussels in Fennel Cream Sauce - Blissful Bites

Fennel, Olive and Orange Salad - The Creative Pot

Fennel Roasted Carrots - Handle the Heat

Apple Fennel Salad - Jenny Learns to Cook

Bouillabaise de Poulet - One Perfect Bite

Raw Beet and Fennel Salad - For the Love of Food

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