Recipe: Fennel Leek Soup

from the book Moosewood Restaurant New Classics

Fennel leek soup

  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed
  • 3 leeks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups spinach, rinsed and stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 10 cups of water
  • Thinly sliced radishes
  • Croutons
Trim off the odds and ends from the leeks and fennel bulb and rinse them (the odds and ends I mean) thoroughly. Keep the good bits aside for later. Place the odds and ends in a large pot along with the carrots, half the potatoes, the thyme, fennel seeds and some salt. Cover with the water and boil for 45 minutes or an hour to make stock.

While the stock is simmering, slice the fennel bulb thinly and chop the white parts of the leeks up. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the fennel and leek for about 15 minutes, until they're soft.

Strain the stock and then put the stock, the fennel and leek and the remaining potatoes back into the big pot and simmer it all for about 15 minutes. Stir in the spinach, dill, lemon juice and the rest of the salt (and the pepper!).

Puree the soup in batches in a food processor until smooth. Serve it up with a handful of radish slices and a few croutons floating on top.

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