Fennel Soup

Fennel is one of my favourite vegetables – I love its aniseed taste. It’s a perfect main flavour for soup. Packed with all those flavours without being too heavy or rich. Ideal as a first course or light lunch with a loaf of crusty bread by its side.

3 spring onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 stick celery (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 whole bulb fennel – with tops (chopped)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 litre vegetable stock
salt & pepper
1/2 cup cream

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a moderate heat until bubbling. Add the spring onion, garlic and celery and fry gently for 5 minutes until soft and lightly golden. Add the chopped fennel and stir. Cook gently for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ground fennel, ground coriander and salt & pepper and stir briefly. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low – simmer, covered gently for 30 minutes.

Pour into a blender and blend into a smooth texture. Pass back into the pan through a sieve to remove any sinew. Stir in the cream then return to the heat until barely simmering. Remove from the heat, check and adjust salt & pepper and serve.

Garnish with fennel leaves and serve with some crusty bread. This soup’s also very tasty chilled if that’s your kind of thing!

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