Sunday, 2 June 2013

Soup Sunday: fennel

Fennel is kind of a new acquaintance to me. So far in the test kitchen it's only been used in borsch, where its gentle liquoricey notes went down a treat.

Fennel is a funny little vegetable. Its anisey scent  feels very strong and instantly brings back memories of a cheap ouzo- fuelled trip to Cyprus years ago, so powerful they make my stomach turn, still... But especially when cooked, the taste is surprisingly subtle and sophisticated. That's why I didn't even bother with cream. If you want to emphasize the  liquoricey notes, you might want to add a star anise into the cooking water. Jusit remember to remove with before blizzing the soup...

Since the Soup Sunday ingredients in themselves tend to be cheap, there's no harm in adding a bit of extra for serving. This soup I served with cold smoked salmon, the saltiness of which went well with the natural creaminess of the fennel.




For two

2 largeish fennels (about  600 g)
1 small leek
5-6 dl chicken or vegetable stock
(1 star anise)
lemon juice
salt, white pepper
2 large slices of cold smoked salmon

Peel the outer leaves off the fennel and cut them in half. Cut off the hard, woody core and slice the veggie thinly. Slice the leek and fry in a bit of butter in a pan. Add fennel and let the veggies soften for a bit. Pour over 5 dl of stock and let cook covered over moderate heat until veggies are done - 15- 20 minutes. Blizz in the blender, add more stock if needed and pour back into the pan. Add a dash of lemon juice and season with salt and white pepper. Garnish with cold smoked salmon and fennel sprigs.






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