Rich Summer Fennel Soup
From Farmer John's Cookbook by John Peterson
1 sprig parsley, stem only
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic
1 medium or large fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 potato, peeled, cubed
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
3 cups vegetable/chicken stock
2 tbsp Pernod (optional)
1/4 cup heavy cream or silken tofu
salt, white pepper, parsley
1. Heat butter and oil, saute the onion and garlic for a couple minutes.
2. Add the fennel, carrot, and potato; cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, and bouquet garni. Boil, then simmer, covered, about 30 minutes or until fennel is soft.
3. Discard bouquet garni. Cool slightly, puree in blender (or food processor). If you're using tofu, add it to the blender.
4. Return soup to the pot, stir in Pernod and cream (if using cream). Heat over medium low until it's hot, but not boiling. Season with salt and white pepper and parsley.
Dan's note: good, licoricey; not memorable, but pretty good.