I am so excited that the weather is finally getting a bit chillier. In California that means high 60′s! Nevertheless, it is officially Fall and Soup Season is here! Kick of the season with this Creamy Fennel and Potato Soup.
I toast whole fennel seeds, which releases the essential oils to bring out fennel fragrance and flavor in the soup. I use whole milk and a small amount of cream to achieve the creaminess. Pureed potatoes create a thick, velvety texture and lemon juice brings out the fennel flavors and adds brightness to the dish.
CREAMY FENNEL AND POTATO SOUP
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 large fennel bulbs, diced (reserve fronds for garnish)
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock or low sodium vegetable stock
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Lemon infused olive oil (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, fennel bulbs, and potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Add 4 cups of stock and the juice of half a lemon. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes until vegetables are tender. * Tip: Test one of the large potato pieces to check for doneness.
- Meanwhile, in a dry sauté pan, toast the fennel seeds over medium high heat for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Place in a mortar or seed grinder. Crush the seeds with a pestle or grind in a seed grinder until very fine.
- In a small sauce pan, bring milk, cream, and ground fennel seeds to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally making sure the bottom of the pan is not forming a burnt film. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes for flavors to blend.
- Puree the vegetables and stock with an immersion blender or work in batches and puree in a blender. Add the milk mixture, the juice from half a lemon, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes to blend flavors.
- To serve, drizzle with lemon infused olive oil and garnish with fennel fronds.