Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Fennel and Potato Soup - Zuppa di Finocchio e Patate
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The spirit was willing but the body was way too weak to spend this gorgeous Oregon day indoors. So, we put chores aside and the Silver Fox and I headed to the coast for a wonderful meal and an afternoon of skipping waves and walking along the shore. The breakers were high and probably tempting to those who don't know this coast. The water here is very very cold, and only the foolish brave it without special gear. California got the beaches and bikinis while Oregon got the coast line and, arguably, the better deal. Our coast is aching beautiful, even in foul weather, and on a day like today it can take your breath away. So we walked and walked and even talked some, but despite the distance covered never manged to regain an appetite for another meal. That meant soup for supper tonight. I've been wanting to try a recipe for an Italian fennel soup that I found in Saveur magazine some time ago and this was the perfect night to experiment. The recipe is quick and easy to prepare and the soup, which has a fennel base, is really interesting. I loved the soup and will make it again and again. I think those of you who like fennel, or are just looking for something different for a change, will enjoy it as well. The soup can be served hot or cold. Here's the recipe.
Fennel and Potato Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Saveur
3 medium fennel bulbs + 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
1 tablespoon butter butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1) Trim, quarter, and core fennel bulbs, then slice into medium-size pieces, reserving 2 tablespoons feathery fennel fronds. Heat butter and olive oil together in a medium pot over medium-low heat. When butter has melted, add sliced fennel, shallots, and 1 cup of the stock. Cover and simmer gently until fennel is soft and translucent, about 15 minutes.
2) Increase heat to medium, add potatoes and remaining 3 cups stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until potatoes are very soft and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
3) Gently mash vegetables with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until soup is thick and chunky. Do not puree the mixture. Add a little water or additional stock if it becomes too thick. Chop reserved fennel leaves, then stir into soup. Remove soup from heat and set aside for 5 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Ladle soup into four bowls and serve warm, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, if you like.Yield: 4 servings.
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