Monday, September 13, 2010

Potato, Leek and Fennel Soup

Today, I want to share a very autumn-appropriate recipe for Potato, Leek and Fennel Soup. In France, it is known as vichyssoise and served cold, but it's also perfect for eating hot on a cool night. I loved the aromatics that filled my kitchen as I sauteed the leeks and fennel, and the creamy consistency of the finished product. Amazingly, there is no dairy in this soup - instead, a final trip to the blender gives the soup its smooth texture. I paired a bowl with a slice of rosemary bread from a bakery and went to "it's-almost-fall" heaven for a minute.

Potato, Leek, and Fennel Soup
from The Bon Appetit's Fast, Easy, Fresh cookbook

2 T. butter (1/4 stick)
2 c. sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
2 c. sliced fennel bulb, fronds chopped and reserved for garnishes
4 14-oz cans low-salt chicken broth (or substitute homemade)
2 lbs. red-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 4 cups)

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and fennel and saute until leeks are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer soup until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return to pot. Rewarm soup if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish each with reserved fennel fronds if desired.

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