Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Carrot, Fennel and Orange Soup

The Easter bunny is going to love this! This is one of my favorite dishes from the culinary course I am taking. It is super creamy and delicious because it's pureed and there is just a touch of creme fraiche. You can easily reserve the creme fraiche and use it as a topping for the soup instead. Or, skip it all together and/or just add a tablespoon or two of half and half to the soup when it's ready to serve. The flavor combo of carrot with the fennel and orange just sings in your mouth. It's also power-packed with vitamins.

Carrot, Fennel and Orange Soup

Serves 6

  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks trimmed flush with bulb, and bulbs sliced thin crosswise
  • 1.5 oz unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds carrots, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin or crushed
  • 6 cups vegetable stock or water
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice plus 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  1. In a soup pot, cook fennel in the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and beginning to turn golden.
  2. Add the sliced carrots and garlic. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
  3. Add stock or water and salt and simmer, covered, 20 minutes or until carrots are very tender.
  4. (Now, I suggest you cool things off in the fridge before blending because I put the hot soup directly in the blender and the heat popped the top off the blender and it was a mess. I cooled it overnight and blended the next day and it came out great.) In a blender, puree mixture in batches with orange juice, zest, creme fraiche, and salt and white pepper to taste until smooth.
  5. Transfer the soup back to the pot and heat through. Serve with fresh black pepper and creme fraiche, if desired.