Friday, 15 October 2010

Irish Fennel Soup

oh its good to be back in the kitchen... and even though I have a stinking cold I still couldn't keep away from the stove!...

... I need something healing and warm and deep with aroma and a little kick so that I can taste it through my thickening head and blocked nose... so, taking inspiration from fellow blogger Mary at One Perfect Bite and my recent trip into the world of TV, where fennel made a guest appearance, I could think of no better base for a soup...

I've decided to be bold and 'Irish' the soup up a bit with a splash of Pernod, ( I suppose you could say i've 'Frenched' the soup up a bit... but you get my drift...) which has brought out the aniseed intensity of the fennel whilst adding a really deep dark undertone.  Due to the fact that I add the Pernod in at the earliest stage the alcohol all burns off, so you can happily serve this to children or those foolish non-alcoholics, but this one's all mine...

so without further ado, whilst the fire's roaring in the living room and as I prepare to languish in- front of it with a bowl of goodness here's the recipe


1 medium onion - finely chopped
a glug (technical term) of Pernod
4 fennel bulbs - finely chopped (keep the frilly fronds for a garnish)
3 sticks of celery - finely chopped
1 leek - finely chopped
1 small cauliflower   - finely chopped
butter and olive oil
2 pints of good veg stock
a small tub of single cream
s and p

- melt a large knob of butter and some olive oil in a heavy pan and add the finely chopped onions, let them saute on a low heat till translucent then turn the heat up and throw in a generous glug of Pernod

- once the liquid has reduced to barely nothing, add the fennel, celery and leeks and saute for 5 mins, then place the lid on, turn down the heat and let them sweat for a further 5 mins

- throw the cauliflower in, season and let that sweat until all the veg are soft

- add the stock and simmer gently for 20 mins

- throw in the cream and then liquidize till smooth and glossy

serve with a sprinkling of fennel fronds and a swirl of cream... heavenly!

eat and of course, enjoy!



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