So, first off, I just learned that fennel is an herb and not a green vegetable!
As part of a challenge, I decided to cook with a green vegetable I had never cooked with before. While on my weekly shopping haul to Trader Joe’s (a.k.a. one of my “happy” places), I picked up some fennel. It was green and in the case next to a lot of green vegetables, so I assumed it was also a green vegetable. Ha!
I decided on soup so I Googled Fennel soup and came up with a recipe on Epicurious. It had received a 3.5-out-of-4 rating and 84% said they’d make it again, so I was in.
Here are the ingredients:
– 2 medium fennel bulbs with fronds
– 1 pound carrots, quartered lengthwise
– 1 medium onion, quartered
– 1 garlic clove
– 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
– 1/2 teaspoon sugar
– 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
– 2 1/2 cups water
– 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
I left out the fennel seeds, which I didn’t have the forethought to buy, and I substituted vegetable broth for chicken broth. I also used organic sugar and garlic powder (was out of fresh).
You’ll notice in the photo that the onion doesn’t look so hot, but it was the only one I had, so I decided to keep calm and carry on. Now that I’m experimenting more regularly, I’ve taken to buying bags of onions instead of one at a time. Also, the large bag of carrots is a 5 lb. bag I picked up at Costco on my weekly haul for juicing supplies.
Never having cooked fennel, I honestly didn’t know what to do with it, so I consulted with the ever-so-helpful Youtube.com where Melissa Clark from the New York Times taught me how to cut a fennel bulb. Very helpful!
Here are some gratuitous shots of fennel!
I preheated the oven to 450 degrees and put one rack on the lowest position.
The recipe called for chopping enough fennel fronds to measure 1 tablespoon. Next, after my instruction with Melissa, I easily sliced the fennel bulbs into 1/4-inch thick pieces and tossed with the carrots, onion, garlic powder, 3 tablespoons oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. I spread the mixture into a pan and roasted in the oven, stirred occasionally. It took a good 25 minutes or so for them to be browned and tender.
Once the veggies were roasted, I took out my Magic Bullet and filled the container about 3/4 full and added vegetable broth. Since I was using a Magic Bullet and not a full-size blender, this process took almost four rounds of blending, which was fine, but next time I’ll pull out the big blender! The Magic Bullet also didn’t blend as well as I would’ve liked so the soup had some texture, but it tasted delicious.
After each blending session, I put the smooth mixture into a saucepan and heated, mixing in additional broth, as needed.
I added more s&p and, finally, the fronds as a garnish.
It was really tasty and I enjoyed it several times over the next few days — both hot and cold!
What’s your favorite type of soup? Please share below…