Fennel and orange soup
This is one of Clotilde's recipes from about 2.5 years ago. I remember reading it and being really inspired to make it, but fennel is a winter vegetable, and it was mid-summer in Australia. It took a few months before I could do it, and I loved the result. I'm not a big fan of licorice, but I do like aniseedy vegetables like fennel and chicory. With the tang and sweetness of candied orange peel and marmalade added to it in the soup (yes, weird!), the taste combination is really unusual and bold. I think it's a great combination.
The soup is on the sweet side - another con in my experience - but again, it works. Many people can't abide the though of candied orange, but it's not so overpowering in this; all the flavours meld together. Yes, it is orangey, so if it's the strong orange flavour of the candied peel (and marmalade) that doesn't appeal, then you may not like this soup.
This is probably one of the most 'cheffy' tasting soups I've made - there's no hearty, rustic flavours and chunky textures like the usual things that come off my stove, but it's quick to make and tastes really interesting. From start to finish you can be eating this soup in 30 minutes...as I am right now. I think it would be a great starter for a dinner party; you could follow it with something quite heavy, but even fish would complement it well.
It's also good to eat if you stupidly burnt the roof of your mouth when tasting something you were cooking a few days ago and now cannot bear the pain to chew anything more solid than pureed soup. Not that I've been so stupid to do such a thing. Oh no....not me!
Read on for the recipe:
Tagged with soup
Soupe de Fenouil aux Ecorces d'Orange
Fennel and orange soup
From Chocolate & Zucchini
- three bulbs of fennel*
- two onions
- about 15 strips of candied orange peel (or chopped mixed peel)
- 2 tbsp orange marmalade
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp brown sugar or molasses (optional)
- olive oil
- salt, pepper
Peel and chop the onions. Heat up some olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions on medium heat for a few minutes. Wash the fennel bulbs, cut off the stalks (reserve the little sprigs), remove the hearts and chop. Dice the orange peel.
When the onions are softened and slightly translucent, add the fennel, orange peel, coriander seeds, salt and pepper, and the stock. Cover, bring to a simmer and let cook for twenty to twenty-five minutes, until the fennel is thoroughly cooked.
Transfer all or part of the solids into a food processor, puree and return to the saucepan. Stir over low heat, adding the orange marmelade and brown sugar (if needed). Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve in bowls, topped with a candied orange strip and a little sprig fennel if you feel all fancy and garnish-ish.
You can also soft-boil an egg, peel it and break it open in the bowl of soup, for a lovely blend of tastes and a complete meal
*I've made it using 1 bulb, and it's still good