Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Fennel and Potato Soup

It's finally soup season again, and I'm looking forward to making some of my favorite recipes when the weather is just right to enjoy them. This soup is definitely one of my favorites, right behind split pea with ham. 

In the interest of not being one of those blogs that takes forever to get to the recipe, let's dive right in! Soup is one of those things that can be really forgiving, so the quantities I list for things are what I happened to buy or have on hand, and don't feel like you have to use exactly as much of any one ingredient as I do. This is just how I like it. 

You can omit the ham and sub an unsweetened non-dairy milk to make it vegan. 


1-2 bulbs of fresh fennel 
2-3 lbs of russet potatoes 
2-4 oz fresh garlic 
1 lb yellow or white onion 
1 lb carrots 
1-2 lb cooked ham, cubed 
1/4 cup heavy cream 
1-1.5 qt chicken or vegetable stock 
optional - small amount of neutral flavored cooking oil of your choice

Clean your fennel, mince the fronds and separate them from the fennel bulb. Slice the bulb separately. Clean and peel potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic.

If you are making this on the stove top, dice your potatoes and carrots into 1/2 inch pieces, mince your onion and garlic.

If you are making this in the instant pot, chop your potatoes and carrots into 1-2 inch pieces, dice your onion into 1/2 inch pieces, and throw the peeled garlic cloves in there whole.

I like to sautee the onion, fennel bulb, ham, and garlic in a little bit of olive oil before adding other ingredients. You can also saute the ham first until a bit of the fat has rendered and use that to saute your vegetables without adding any additional oil. You can do this in your big soup pot on the stove, or in the instant pot on the saute setting for a couple minutes before adding your stock. 

Scrape the bottom of the pot a little as you add the stock so any brown flavor stuck on there is incorporated into the liquid. After adding the stock, add your potatoes and carrots. 

On the stove top, simmer on med/low heat until the potatoes and carrots are cooked through. 

In the instant pot, set it to high pressure and medium or high heat for 20 minutes. You can quick or slow release when time is up, it shouldn't make much diffrence. 

Once the potatoes and carrots are cooked through, add the fennel fronds and cream, stir to incoroporate and allow to simmer (not boil) gently for a few minutes to incorporate. 

Salt to taste (try smoked salt if you have it) and serve. I like to top this with a generous amount of fresh ground black pepper, and a couple croutons, or serve along side some crusty bread.

The vegetables pictured here made six to eight servings.

We added leftover thin siced chicken breast to this one night just to add some extra protein and avoid wasting leftovers, you can see it in this clip.

If you try my recipe I'd love to hear what you think of it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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