Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Onion and Fennel Bisque - Outdoor Wednesday
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I found this recipe years ago on the Kaiser Permanente website. I tried it, loved it and made it a permanent feature of our summer table. I've seen it since on Epicurious and other more tony sites, so I know my judgment regarding the original soup was sound. The predominant flavor in the soup is fresh fennel. There are two types of this aromatic plant. Both types have feathery foliage and edible stems and leaves, but Florence fennel, or finocchio, which has a broad bulbous base is what's used in this soup. This type of fennel is often mislabeled "sweet anise," causing those who don't like the flavor of licorice to avoid it. The flavor of fennel, however, is sweeter and more delicate than anise when it's cooked. This is a really simple soup that's packed with flavor. It can be served hot or cold and it's a perfect accompaniment to a summer meal. Here's the recipe.
Onion and Fennel Bisque...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
Ingredients: 2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped (1 cup)
3 medium red onions, chopped (3 1/2 cups)
1/2 lb fennel bulb (sometimes called anise), stalks discarded and bulb cored and chopped (1-1/4 cups)
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups vegetable stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1-1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons Pernod Garnish: chopped fresh chives
1) Wash leeks well in a bowl of cold water, then lift out and drain well.
2) Cook onions, leeks, fennel, and garlic in butter in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes. Add wine and boil, uncovered, until evaporated, about 1 minute. Add stock, water, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and liquid is reduced to about 6 cups, about 15 minutes.
3) Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), then transfer to bowls and chill or serve. Yield: 5 cups.
This recipe is being linked to Outdoor Wednesday, an event sponsored by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.