Carrot Fennel Soup

Roasting the vegetables in extra virgin olive oil until they're well caramelized adds a depth of flavor & sweetness to this soup. The fennel seed oil drizzle is the perfect finishing touch.
• Active time:20 min
• Start to finish:50 min
• 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs with fronds
• 1 lb carrots, quartered lengthwise
• 1 medium onion, quartered
• 1 garlic clove
• 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided (I used Guadagnolo Primus)
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
• Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lowest position.
• Chop 1 tablespoon fennel fronds & reserve.  Cut remaining fennel bulbs into 1/4 inch thick slices & toss with carrots, onion, garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, & 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread out in a sheet pan & roast, stirring occasionally, until browned & tender. About 25 to 30 minutes.
• When vegetables are done, blend half of of them in a blender with the broth until very smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Repeat with remaining vegetables & water. Thin to desired consistency with extra water and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
• While soup is cooking, finely grind fennel seeds in grinder & stir into remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
• Serve soup drizzled with fennel oil & sprinkled with reserved fronds.
• Soup can be made 1 day ahead & chilled.
• Fennel oil can be made 2 days ahead & kept at room temperature.

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