A thick soup perfect for the cold winter days!
3 medium fennel bulbs
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 shallots, finely chopped
4 cups veggie stock
1 large russet potato, cubed
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Trim, quarter, and core fennel, then slice into medium-size pieces, reserving feathery leaves from one of the bulbs. (You will need about 2 tbsp. of fennel leaves.)
Heat butter and olive oil together in a medium pot over medium-low heat.
When butter has melted, add sliced fennel, thyme, garlic, shallots, and 1 cup of the stock.
Cover and simmer gently until fennel is soft and translucent, about 15 minutes.
Increase heat to medium, add potatoes and remaining 3 cups stock, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until potatoes are very soft and cooked for about 25 minutes.
Season soup to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Gently mash the vegetables with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until the soup is thick and chunky (but not puréed), adding a little additional stock if it becomes too thick.
Remove soup from heat and set aside for 5 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
Ladle soup into four bowls and serve warm, garnish with fennel fronds.
Prepared, tried and tested Jennifer Nowicki