Sunday, July 6, 2014

POTATO-FENNEL SOUP

I LOVE SOUPS ANYTIME OF THE YEAR, I CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH OF THEM! SOUPS ARE GREAT AS A MAIN DISH OR AN APPETIZER, COMBINE A SOUP WITH A SANDWICH OR AND SALAD OF MIXED BABY GREENS WITH A SIMPLE VINAIGRETTE AND YOU HAVE A HEARTY LUNCH THAT IS NOT ONLY GOOD BUT, VERY KID FRIENDLY.

THIS POTATO-FENNEL SOUP IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES FOR THE HOLIDAYS. THE EARTHY POTATOES WITH THE LICORICE FLAVOR OF THE FENNEL IS A CLASSIC COMBINATION THAT IS A PERFECT STARTER TO A THANKSGIVING OR CHRISTMAS MEAL. ADD CROSTINI SPREAD WITH SOME RICOTTA AND SPRINKLED WITH PEPPER AND YOU HAVE THE PERFECT STARTER TO MAKE YOUR HOLIDAY DINNERS SPECIAL FOR ALL.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 LARGE LEEKS  
  • 1 LARGE BULB FENNEL, DICED {STEMS AND FRONDS RESERVED}
  • 3 LARGE CARROTS, DICED
  • KOSHER SALT AND GROUND WHITE PEPPER
  • COOKING SPRAY
  • 2 TABLESPOONS UNSALTED BUTTER
  • 2 POUNDS YUKON GOLD POTATOES, PEELED AND CUT INTO 1-INCH PIECES
  • 1 1/2 CUPS WHOLE MILK
  • 1/4 CUP CHOPPED FRESH PARSLEY AND DILL
  • 1/2 CUP RICOTTA CHEESE
  • 4 SLICES CRUSTY ITALIAN BREAD, TOASTED

DIRECTIONS:

  1. PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 450 DEGREES. 
  2. MAKE THE BROTH BY CUTTING OFF THE DARK GREEN TOPS OF THE LEEKS AND PUT IN A LARGE POT ALONG WITH THE FENNEL STEMS AND FRONDS; ADD 8 CUPS WATER. BRING TO A BOIL, REDUCE THE HEAT TO MEDIUM AND SIMMER 20 MINUTES.
  3. MEANWHILE, HALVE THE REMAINING LEEKS LENGTHWISE, THEN THINLY SLICE AND RINSE. 
  4. PUT THE CARROTS AND HALF THE REMAINING LEEKS AND DICED FENNEL ON A FOIL-LINED BAKING SHEET. SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER; COAT WITH COOKING SPRAY AND TOSS.
  5. ROAST IN OVEN UNTIL GOLDEN, ABOUT 25 MINUTES.
  6. MEANWHILE, MELT THE BUTTER IN A DUTCH OVEN OR POT OVER MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT. ADD THE REMAINING LEEKS AND FENNEL AND COOK, STIRRING, UNTIL SOFT, ABOUT 4 MINUTES.
  7. ADD THE POTATOES AND 2 CUPS OF THE PREPARED BROTH. COVER AND COOK UNTIL TENDER, ABOUT 15 MINUTES.
  8. ADD 4 MORE CUPS OF BROTH AND THE MILK; BRING TO A BOIL.
  9. WORKING IN BATCHES, TRANSFER TO A BLENDER AND PUREE, SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER.
  10. LADLE THE SOUP INTO 4 BOWLS; TOP WITH THE ROASTED VEGETABLES AND CHOPPED HERBS.
  11. SPREAD RICOTTA ON THE TOASTED BREAD AND SEASON WITH PEPPER; SERVE WITH THE SOUP.
ACTIVE TIME: 30 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES
SERVES: 4