LEEK AND POTATO SOUP WITH FENNEL
Leeks can be very sandy so wash them carefully. Cut away the top dark green part and the root end. Cut the leek in half lengthwise and rinse off any visible dirt. Slice and place leeks in a big bowl of cold water. Let rest 5 minutes - the sand will sink to the bottom and the leeks will float on top. Scoop out the leeks and discard the sandy water.
Cooked fennel has a much¬†more gentle taste than raw fennel. Use only the bulb of the fennel - trim off the tough celery-looking ribs and root end.
If you use tarragon to garnish the soup, it will bring out the flavour of the fennel.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, trimmed, sliced and well-washed
- 1 lb baking potatoes, peeled and sliced or chopped
- 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and diced
- 4 cups water or chicken stock
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup whipping cream, optional
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives or fresh tarragon
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add leeks. Cook gently 5 to 8 minutes until wilted and tender.¬†Add potatoes, fennel, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook very gently 20 to 30 minutes until potatoes are very tender.
- Puree soup in a food mill or blender.¬†Adjust to taste with cream, salt and pepper.
- Garnish with chives or tarragon.