Fennel soup with winter greens and bacon
- November 2006
- Serves 4
- Ready in about 1¼ hours
This fennel soup recipe includes winter greens and bacon. It’s crammed with winter goodness and has a rich, satisfying flavour.
- 59.4g (32.9g saturated)
- 48.2g (9.3g sugar)
- 100g butter
- 2 large leeks, sliced and washed thoroughly
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- 3 fennel bulbs, coarsely chopped
- 900g potatoes, roughly chopped
- 1.2 litres chicken stock, hot
- 150ml whipping cream
For the winter greens and bacon
- 1 small or ½ large savoy cabbage or other winter greens
- 50g butter
- 175g pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, diced
- Handful roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft. Add the fennel seeds and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chopped fennel and the potatoes.
- Cover the vegetables with a sheet of wet baking paper and put a lid on the pan. Cook gently for 10-12 minutes, until the leeks are soft. Remove and discard the paper. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender.
- Leave the soup to cool slightly, then pour half into a food processor or blender and whizz until smooth. Press through a sieve into the remaining soup in the pan. Stir in the cream and season to taste. Gently reheat the soup but make sure it doesn’t boil.
- Meanwhile, make the winter greens and bacon. Discard the tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Roughly tear the remaining leaves, discarding any hard stalks, and blanch them in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes. Refresh under cold running water and drain.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pancetta or bacon, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden. Add the cabbage and thyme, and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, until the cabbage is tender. Season well.
- Ladle the soup into deep bowls and spoon the winter greens and bacon into each bowl to serve.
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