Fennel is just one of those veggies that is super versatile. Yummy raw, in salads, on seafood or simply roasted, it always manages to find its way into my shopping basket!
With winter upon us, it was only a matter of time before fennel found its way into a soup...and what a soup this is! Topped with the most divine hazelnut and bacon gremolata, it not only looks absolutely beautiful, it's delicious to boot!
The other thing I love about this soup is how simple it is, which makes it perfect to make on any weekday after work and yet it special enough to serve up to guests at a last minute dinner party!
Don't forget to tag me on your socials if you make it - I adore seeing these recipes come to life in your kitchens!
I hope you try it, take care,
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
For the soup:
- 1 tablespoon truffle infused olive oil, plus a little extra to serve
- 25g salted butter
- 2 small or 1 large fennel bulb, coarsely chopped, fronds reserved
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 litre quality chicken stock
- 1 cup pouring cream, plus a little extra to serve
- Salt and pepper
For the bacon hazelnut gremolata:
- 3 strips free range bacon
- 1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
- Pinch of sea salt flakes
- To make the bacon hazelnut gremolata, heat a frypan over a medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until it is slightly crisp on both sides before placing on paper towel to drain and cool. Chop it into small pieces and place in a small bowl. Add the hazelnuts, oregano and pinch of sea salt flakes and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Place the oil and butter in a large pot and add the fennel, onion and fennel seeds. Saute over a medium-high heat for a few minutes until the onion is translucent but not yet browned. Add the garlic and saute for a further minute.
- Add the potato cubes and stir about for a minute. Add a cup of the chicken stock to deglaze the pan before adding the rest of the stock. Season with salt and pepper and stir to mix all the ingredients.
- Once the mixture has started to boil, partially cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the cream and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the potato is completely tender.
- Turn the heat off and allow the soup to cool for about 10 minutes before blitzing with a hand blender until it is a puree texture.
- To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and add a small dollop of cream to the centre of the bowl (if desired) before swirling it through the soup. Finish off with a generous sprinkle of the bacon gremolata, an extra drizzle of truffle oil (if desired) and a few fennel fronds.