This rich, smooth soup balances the gentle flavor of fennel with spices and a bracing addition of Pernod.
Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Soups and Stews
Yield: serves 6-8
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 whole clove
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> cup canola oil
- 4 large bulbs (about 5 lbs.) fennel, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 1 large leek, white and pale green parts trimmed and roughly chopped (about 10 oz.)
- 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> cup Pernod
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- Crusty bread, for serving
- Heat coriander, star anise, cardamom, and clove in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until seeds begin to pop, 2–3 minutes. Transfer spices to a piece of cheesecloth and tie into a tight package; set aside. Add oil to pan; return to medium-high heat. Add fennel, leek, and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 25–30 minutes. Add wine; cook until reduced by half, 3–4 minutes. Add spice package and stock; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, 10 minutes. Discard spice package and working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan and add Pernod, cream, salt, and white pepper; bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thick, 3–5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread.
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