Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Roasted Potato and Fennel Soup

Winter is just about to let go of my area and allow spring to take over, and for that reason, I'm getting all of my hearty soups in while I can.  I look forward to spring, but with it comes the lack of desire to make thick, hearty soups.  I know I won't be tasting them for a while, so I make a lot of soups come February and March.  I made this one last month, but just haven't gotten around to posting it yet.

There's something about this soup that I just love.  I think it's because it's not just another "loaded baked potato" soup, with cheddar and bacon sprinkled on top.  It could also be that I adore fennel.

The first time I really found fennel was in a fennel slaw on top of salmon at my favorite restaurant, and I've been hooked ever since.  So when I saw this combination of roasted potatoes and fennel I jumped for joy, and jumped into the kitchen ready to cook. 

4 lbs. red potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
1/4 c. plus 2 T. olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 T. salt
2 t. black pepper
4 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 c. chopped fennel bulb (2 bulbs)
12 c. chicken stock or water (I recommend chicken stock)
1 c. heavy cream
chives (optional)
cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400. In a large bolw, toss the potatoes with 1/4 c. olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, until cooked through.

Saute the onions and fennel with 2 T. olive oil in a large stockpot on medium heat until translucent, 10-15 minutes. Add the roasted potatoes (including scrapings) and the stock or water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until all of the vegetables are very soft. Add the heavy cream and allow the soup to cool slightly. Chop coarsely in batches in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you choose, sprinkle with chives and cheese.  If the soup has cooled, reheat and serve hot.

~adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten.

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  1. I love fennel! This soup sounds so good! I love the simplicity of it.

  2. YUM - this looks excellent! I love the idea of fennel in this - fabulous.



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