1/2 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream, plus
about 1/4 cup for spooning into the finished soup
oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tops and feathery fronds off the fennel.
Discard the fronds; reserve the tops. Cut the bulb into small chunks and
place in a medium-size roasting pan or ovenproof skillet. Add the onion
and drizzle the oil on top. Stir the vegetables to coat them with the
oil and season with the salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables, stirring
once or twice, until the fennel is somewhat brown and tender when
pierced, 35-40 minutes.
fennel is roasting, finely chop the reserved fennel tops to make about 1
cups and set aside. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Add the broth
and water to the vegetables, scraping up and browned bits. Working in
small batches puree the mixture in a food processor or blender until
smooth. Add 1/2 cup of the crème fraiche to the last batch and blend
until smooth. Transfer the soup to a medium-size saucepan and season to
taste. Bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Serve hot, with a
sprinkling of the reserved fennel tops and the additional crème fraiche
or heavy cream if desired.
soup, fennel, with its slightly sweet, anise flavor is first roasted and
then pureed to a thick, creamy texture. The flavors are clean and fresh
tasting. Serve this soup on a cold winter's day, topped with a dollop of
crème fraiche and crunchy chopped fennel tops.