Saturday, May 8, 2010

Easy Peasy Carrot Fennel Soup

I did a little bit of searching before I settled on this recipe.  The primary reason for my selection was because once I bought the fennel, I already had all of the other ingredients.  I was inspired to try this interesting combo by an old Books for Cooks recipe (book bought in London, in a little book shop in Notting Hill across the street from the travel book shop in The Movie) and then did some searching on the internet.  During that search I did in fact find another really interesting food blog, "My Man's Belly", which is now in my hall of fame to the right, too.  I plan to try Pamela's soup as well.  As always, if I vary the recipe, I write that far below. 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced; fronds reserved
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1.  In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter until foamy. Add the fennel slices and cook, stirring, until softened. Add the carrots and garlic and cook another minute. Pour in 6 cups of water and season with salt. Simmer, covered, until the carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes.

2.  Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the orange juice, sour cream and reserved fennel fronds. Use the back of a spoon to mash some of the carrots and fennel, but leave the soup chunky. Season with salt and pepper.

My changes:

Less water (4 cups) and in fact I was sorely tempted to use chicken stock but thought I'd give the actual recipe a shot first. 
Pre-cut thinly sliced carrots. 
Pre-minced garlic in a glass bottle (you know the kind).  In fact I also forgot to stir the darn stuff in the fennel/butter mixture which would have been better - I literally added it about 20 minutes into the last stage - the water reduction stage.
TIME:  I bet I had this simmering for an hour and a half.  I think the writer was nuts - 20 minutes would do nothing to those carrots, even the thin ones.  Let it simmer on down!
Probably closer to half a cup of sour cream.

I was skeptical, thinking it would be bland (water?) but it was actually very tasty.  This was even without settling overnight.  I am sure it will be even better tomorrow!

Let me know if you try it, I think you will like it.


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