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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

Directions:
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.

36 comments :

Ebie said...

You always have a nice presentation of your outdoor activity. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

My Little Space said...

Sounds intereting about this recipe! Had never try them in soup and it's a little difficult to get them fresh over here! Thanks for sharing!

Martha said...

sounds like a wonderful soup. Fennel (the herb kind) grows prolifically in Linderhof's garden -- your pictures of fennel are wonderful!

I will have to try this soup soon.

Riet said...

Lovely recipies you have. Thank you for sharing

Regina said...

Beautiful outdoor! Great post.

Joy said...

Just a beautiful recipe.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

The up close and personal shots of the veggies are sooo lovely.

ANd to put them all together with your recipe.

I am writing it down -- for when in the fall I will be more inclined to cook. :)

TTFN~~Claudia ♥

g.suzie said...

Mary, you always share such great recipes, you are definitley a 'go to person' if I need a recipe. Wonderful pictures as well, have a great Wednesday!

Allie said...

I've never cooked with fennel bulbs, it's on my list to try out. Love seeing all your pictures! Everything is so lovely!!

The Apple Hill Adventurer said...

i ADORE fennel. I was one of the weird kids in school who would only eat the black jelly beans haha .. (more for me!) i love the anise, licoricey flavor of it! this bisque looks super yummy! another thing to put on my recipes to try list :)

the ungourmet said...

Isn't it funny how you can find such fabulous recipes in the most unlikely places!

This looks delicious!

Florida Sue said...

I love leeks and fennel and this soup sounds delicious. So many swallowtail butterflies just love fennel to lay their eggs. I keep some herbs caged for cooking, and leave the rest to the butterflies.
XOSue

Michelle said...

This looks like a great soup to try. I hope I can find fresh fennel. Thank you for another lovely post with great photos. You always provide great inspiration. Have a great week.

Jenny @ Nourished Kitchen said...

Beautiful. I LOVE fennel and am so pleased that it's finally appearing at our farmers market.

Pam said...

I just recently started liking fennel - this soup sounds wonderful.

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

Ooh, this sounds delicious. Love how the fennel looks as it grows. So pretty.

Christi

girlichef said...

Gorgeous photos, Mary...and the bisque...mmmmmmm!

Natashya said...

That does sound tasty! I love your garden shots!

Lori E said...

I love fennel and almost always have some in the fridge. I also grow bronze fennel and it gets to be about 7 feet tall. Very pretty and it smells great.

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Well, if it taste as good as it looks, it is wonderful! Love your photos too!

Donna Marie said...

Sound delicious!!!!

xxoxoxoxo
Donna Marie

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

I love cold soups for these hot summer months, so refreshing and packed full of nutrients.

The photos are beautiful!

BTW, both my children were born at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California.

The Blonde Duck said...

What a neat soup!

noble pig said...

How delicious is this! I mean wow is all I can say. I love the taste of fennel. This looks like a winner.

Jeanne Selep said...

Beautiful blog!

Helene said...

Thanks so much, I love onions & fennel so I would enjoy this recipe.

Light and Voices said...

I am always so impressed with your Outdoor Wednesday blog which is replete with interesting recipes and photos.
Joyce M

jeanne said...

Hello Mary, your fennel soup sounds delicious. I have never thought of making fennel soup... I usually makes soup in the cooler weather. This is light and I bet delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Hugs...Jeanne

Jamie said...

Oooh this really is the perfect soup any time. Yum, I love those ingredients and fennel bulbs are standard grocery and market fare in France all year round. Beautiful soup!

Katy ~ said...

This sounds DIVINE!!!

Hillary said...

Nooo. I wish I read this post earlier! I bought fennel at Green City Market the other weekend and was looking for ideas for what to make with it. This would have trumped the others! :)

gracie said...

I am so happy to see this recipe. I have fennel growing in my garden...it's more like a tiny forest:) I can hardly wait to put some of it to use,with your bisque recipe
thanks
Gracie

once in a blue moon... said...

yippee, you just solved my dinner delemma~

sunnymama said...

Outdoor Wednesday is always delicious here :)

Debinhawaii said...

What a beautiful soup--I am a huge fan of fennel and this looks really good.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Ugh! I had a gut feeling I should have bought that fennel from the farmers market this morning. Darn!

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