Caramelized Fennel and White Bean Soup

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 45 mins

I love fennel, I love soup… so when this soup was recently featured on FoodTV's "Party Starters" prepared by Edison Mays, I snagged the recipe from the website and adapted it to my liking.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Slice the fennel bulbs thinly; chop the fennel fronds and set them aside to use later.
  2. In a large heavy sauce pot over medium temperature, heat the olive oil; add the sliced fennel bulb, thyme, and butter.
  3. Saute, stirring occasionally, until fennel is golden brown and caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Add the white wine, garlic, stock, and small white beans and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  5. (At this point, if you'd like a creamy soup you can take out half of the soup and puree it in a blender, then add it back into the pot.).
  6. Season soup to taste with sea salt and white pepper.
  7. Garnish with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a bit of chopped fennel frond, and serve.
  8. Note: more beans can be added to the soup, if you like (a couple of cups worth), or you can use other kinds of beans or a combination. And yes, the amounts are correct in the recipe - it's a gallon of stock. This makes a lotta soup!
Most Helpful

I did puree this, and I think that was a mistake. The flavour of the fennel got completely lost in the white beans. Getting started, I was afraid this would be bland, so I added an onion while cooking the fennel and tripled the garlic. Still bland. I threw in a jar of roasted red peppers and that added some colour and flavour. Sprinkling with grated parmesan also helped with flavour and presentation. Still, I think maybe fennel just can't stand up to being mixed up with party-killing white beans. Next time, I'd cut down on the beans and leave them whole.

lucy k. July 03, 2010

This is yummy! I think the proportions are off, tho? I saw 1 gallon of stock & cut the recipe down. With 6c stock & 1/2c white wine, I had planty of liquid for the 2nd caramelized fennel bulb. I liked that this was easy - I set the fennel on low to caramelize while I did other stuff then it was fast to finish it off. Love the flavor; very filling. A wonderful soup - thank you!

Elmotoo January 26, 2006