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Fennel and Celery Soup

RECIPE

Fennel is one of those vegetables that many people have never tried simply because they do not know what it is or how to use it in different dishes. It is a vegetable more common to the Mediterranean and is great to add in small quantities to salads and is also great with fish. It has an aniseed flavour and if served raw is very crunchy (always slice it very thinly). The fennel we find in our supermarkets is a cultivated variety (part of celery family) which has a mild anise-like flavour, and is sweet and aromatic.

The combination of fennel and celery to make a soup makes for an interesting flavour combination. Like the celery leaves, the fronds on fennel make a good garnish so when preparing your fennel retain these for use at the end.

The Celery leaves are strongly flavoured and are often discarded in cooking, but in soup making they are great to add at the end for additional flavour and to add texture to the soup. So set aside the leaves and the very centre of the heart to add at the end of making your soup.

Fennel and Celery Soup

Ingredients

2 Fennel Bulbs
1 head of Celery
325g Carrots
2 Red Chillies
4 Vegetable stock cubes
Salt to taste
Bunch of fresh Parsley
Water

Method

  • Fennel
    Fennel
    Head of Celery
    To make the soup I use an 8 pint pan.

  • Remove the leaves from the celery heart and reserve.

  • Clean your celery stalks and chop into pieces and add to your pan.

  • Remove the core from the fennel bulb and the base. Remove the fronds and set aside for later use. Discard any outer parts that are discoloured. Slice fennel thinly and add to the pan.

  • Clean and chop your carrots. Add to the pan.

  • Remove the tops from red chillies and finely chop. If you do not like hot food remove the seeds before chopping.

  • Add water to your pan to bring the level to one inch from the top. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for about 30 minutes.

  • Add three of vegetable stock cubes (I prefer Knorr). Once dissolved decide whether to add the fourth stock cube.

  • Taste and season with salt.

  • Finely chop your Parsley (plenty of it) and add to pan. Continue to simmer for a further two or three minutes and then remove from the heat.

  • Remove half the carrots.

  • Liquidise your soup either in a liquidiser (will need to do in batches) or with a hand-held liquidiser so that a smooth consistency is achieved.

  • Finely chop your celery leaves and fennel fronds and add to pan. Simmer for another five minutes.

  • Serve immediately or leave to cool and store in the fridge and reheat as required. If not using all at once only reheat the amount you need each time and not the whole pan of soup.

Serves 8

Making anything like this does not require you to use precise amounts so do not worry too much about weighing or the size of the ingredients.

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