Fennel lovers, this soup is for you. Inspired by Twelve Months of Monastery Soup, this frugal and nourishing soup uses all parts of the vegetable. Serves 6.
2 T butter
1 leek (white and light green parts), chopped
1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 lb parsnips or carrots, peeled and chopped
2 fennels: bulbs chopped, stalks finely chopped, greens finely chopped and reserved
1/4 cup flour
10 cups vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t fennel seeds
1/8 t red pepper flakes
Juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in large Dutch oven or soup pot. Sautee leek, potatoes, parsnips, fennel bulbs and stalks. When vegetables are all dente, work in flour to form a roux and cook until golden brown. Whisk in vegetable stock, then add garlic, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice and simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly until no lumps of flour remain. When vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes, blend soup in batches until smooth, then return soup to a simmer. Stir in fennel greens and cook until they are wilted in the hot soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.