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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.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 fennel bulbs, sliced thinly, fennel fronds chopped and reserved
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced, to taste
- 1 gallon vegetable stock or 1 gallon chicken stock
- 6 cups cooked small white beans (from the can is fine)
- sea salt, to taste
- white pepper, to taste
- extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
- Slice the fennel bulbs thinly; chop the fennel fronds and set them aside to use later.
- In a large heavy sauce pot over medium temperature, heat the olive oil; add the sliced fennel bulb, thyme, and butter.
- Saute, stirring occasionally, until fennel is golden brown and caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the white wine, garlic, stock, and small white beans and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
- (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.).
- Season soup to taste with sea salt and white pepper.
- Garnish with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a bit of chopped fennel frond, and serve.
- 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!
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.
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!