Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Zuppa di Finocchio - Creamy Fennel Soup



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

45 comments:

Ginny said...

I have never had fennel! Don't you just love the immersion blender? No mpore big clunky blender to take apart and wash!

Monet said...

Mary,
Your innovation never fails to impress me. I'm still working on my cooking skills, so I'm not quite ready to experiment as much as you do. But I love coming to your site and finding all of these new and different creations. What a great way to enjoy fennel! Thank you for sharing!

alison said...

so delicious and flavorful!

Angie's Recipes said...

Mary, you are simply the best! Innovative, passionate and talented! The creamy fennel soup looks truly comforting and heartwarming!
Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Angie

penny aka jeroxie said...

Our fennel days are closing. Must get onto it then.

Karen said...

Fennel and celery are a match made in heaven! Great recipe-- can't wait to try this!

Marisa said...

Have never thought of making a fennel soup, but I bet it tastes lovely! Thanks for the mention.

KathyB. said...

A good reminder for me to hurry up and harvest my fennel. Although I don't like potatoes, my husband does and he loves a good bowl of hearty soup with homemade bread. This looks to be a recipe he will enjoy.My husband is the guy who bought our immersion blender~

Alessandra said...

What a good way to use fennel! Thank you for the idea Mary :-)

Priya said...

Beautiful creamy soup..

Umm Mymoonah said...

Nothing is better than this comforting bowl of soup.

Sushma Mallya said...

Very nice and flavourful soup...

Parad Sharma said...

looks great! thanks for sharing..will surely try this weekend :)

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

this look creamy and good, what a comfort food that you have prepared!

bellini valli said...

I happen to have some fennel waiting for it's moment to shine Mart.

Design Wine and Dine said...

This soup looks silky and delicious! This is my favorite texture for soup, the hand blender is my best friend this time of year!

Love this Mary!

Kim said...

I looovvve your soup! Fennel is something that I eat for a couple of year but I usually eat it raw! In this soup It's probably delicious!

Barbara said...

Lovely, Mary. I just had roasted fennel last night. I adore it. Absolutely cannot wait to try your soup! How unusual...and the caraway seeds are a nice touch!
You are the best. I know visiting your blog I will always come away inspired.

Martha said...

I will have to try this sometime -- perhaps for my next lunch bunch lunch. I did make the fennel soup from Ina's first cookbook and it was really good.

tasteofbeirut said...

I saw a lot of wild fennel fronds since I have been here and was thinking of ways to use them; this soupl looks so creamy fragrant and delicious, I would try it in a heartbeat,

From the Kitchen said...

I have never prepared fennel in any way. Why not? I have no idea. This is going to be my self-imposed (and seemingly delicious) challenge very soon. And, my immersion blender (my very first) arrived in yesterday's mail. I feel like a novice in the kitchen right now.

Best,
Bonnie

Jenn said...

I've never used fennel except as a seasoning...always been a little intimated by it. Now I have a great recipe to try and over come that intimidated feeling with! This looks so creamy and wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Mary!

Valérie said...

What a beautiful soup! I hardly ever use caraway seeds, I'll keep the tip in mind! Have a great day!

Claudia said...

Now,that's a flavorful soup! Fennel can do anything it wants.
P.S. Our endive is $6.99. Per tiny bunch. Annoys me. But cannot seem to grow it.

Mariana said...

Hummmmmmm looks delicious Mary.

Krista said...

I think that this sounds wonderful. I've only cooked with fennel once, and I really enjoyed the result. It seems that the fennel I purchased for that recipe was very expensive. I'll have to check the prices at this time of year, because I'd really like to make this!

Anna A. said...

Hahah my Italian friend was just telling me about the word "finnochio" ... well, I have been thinking about making soup and love fennel.. so making this, clearly! Thanks!!

Cheryl said...

That is one gorgeous soup Mary, I am not a fan of Fennel but I would scarf a bowl of that right down!

StephenC said...

An excellent preparation. Please forgive me for correcting your spelling, but it is "finocchio", which also happens to be an Italian slang term for "faggot".

RamblingTart said...

What a beautiful, creamy soup, Mary. :-) I love fennel and it would be so scrumptious done this way. :-) Just perfect for the cold days now here. :-)

Joanne said...

I've done potato leek but never potato fennel soup before! The licorice-y flavor must add such a subtle kick. How delightful!

Jay said...

sounds n looks wonderful soup...

Tasty Appetite

Cherine said...

Nothing beats a flavorful comforting soup!

Faith said...

I love the flavor of fennel but I've never cooked with it! What a delicious, unique idea for soup!

Lucie said...

Mary, this is a great creation! I love fennel and am accustomed to having it in salads, but not in soups! This is a must-try. A version with roasted carrots must be pretty nice, too!

Jaime and Jen DISH said...

Wow, this looks amazing.....so creamy!!!

scrambledhenfruit said...

I love fennel but I've never had it in soup. This sounds delicious!

Jess @ Bakericious said...

the soup looks thick and creamy, what a comfort food :).

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

I can't wait to make this and when hubby asks what's for dinner, I can say "zuppa di finocchio" (there just might be a little Italian in this German girl after all.

Looks fantastic!

Jeannie said...

This looks perfect for dipping a warm crusty bread into...especially if it's raining outside, which is often the case these days.

Adelina said...

that creamy texture is so appropriate for the cooler weather! Fennel- bet it is very tasty as soup!

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

I simply love fennel and I was talking just yesterday with a chef friend of mine about how underrated and underused it is... even if you're not a fan of aniseed it has a much warmer undertonethat works so well with fish and chicken... or even on it's own, softly braised. I think you've inspired me to do a fennel special on my blog next week!

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

Mary, I recreated your soup on my bog and added a naughty twist... hope you like it! http://belleaukitchen.blogspot.com/

Chef Fresco said...

Lovely soup! I meant to say in my last comment on your other post - hope you're having a wonderful trip!

Francisco said...

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