The sweet anise flavour of fennel is joined by the tartness of sorrel in this zingy soup that is perfect all year round!
A Soup For All Seasons.
Fennel is an ingredient that is often available for much of the year, maybe with the exception of the height of summer.
The bright and zingy flavours in this recipe make it great for brightening up a winters day. But it is also light enough to be a perfect summer soup.
The sweetness of fennel often needs something a little sharp to counteract it.
I often pickle fennel as in the lentil side dish for this pan-fried salmon recipe.
Here I use sorrel, a delicious leaf that looks similar to spinach but one with a wonderful tart flavour.
When buying fennel you want bulbs that feel tight to the feel. They should also be free of blemishes and bruises.
The root end of the fennel should cover most of the base of the bulb and it should be white.
If it is starting to brown it will not be fresh, whilst it will be safe to eat it will have lost much of its flavour.
Getting fennel with some of the fronds on offers a fab garnish opportunity.
The potatoes should be a floury variety because they exist to add body to the soup.
As a result, look for a variety like King Edwards or Russet, although an all-rounder like Desiree would also work.
Finally, the Sorrel should look green and vibrant ad the stalks should snap when you bend them. If they are soggy your sorrel is well beyond its best.
Recipe Hints and Variations.
The first thing to mention about this recipe is to warn you against throwing in sorrel too early.
Sorrel browns as it cooks and it looks really quite unsightly. It still tastes great, but if you want a verdant green make sure you add it right at the end.
Also if you are struggling to get sorrel you can add spinach and replace the tartness with lemon juice.
Just squeeze it in at the end to taste.
Finally, if you want to avoid some washing up this soup is also great served as a chunky soup.
I find finely shredded sorrel offers the best experience if you want to serve it like this.
- 50 g Butter
- 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
- 200 g Fennel
- 75 g Onion
- 75 g Floury Potato
- 75 g Sorrel Leaves
- 500 ml Vegetable Stock
- Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp Sour Cream
- Pinch of Paprika
- 2 Tsbp Olive Oil
- Dice your onion, fennel and potato into a rough 1cm dice.
- Heat the butter over a medium heat in a large heavy based pan.
- When the butter begins to foam add the cumin seeds and, stir for a minute or two until fragrant.
- Throw in the diced fennel and onion and saute for 5 minutes until the onion turns translucent.
- Then add the diced potato and the stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer with a lid on until the fennel is thoroughly cooked, this will take about half an hour.
- Remove from the heat and add the sorrel and then blitz in a blender or with a stick blender until smooth.
- I like to serve this with a dollop of sour cream, some fennel fronds and a pinch of sweet paprika.
This serves two comfortably with a wee bit left over for the obligatory seconds.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 433Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 1222mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 4g