Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Fennel and Walnut Soup Recipe

This is a classic English soup, marrying the aniseed flavour of fennel with the meatier flavour of walnuts. Originally this was a Victorian soup made with green (ie unripe) walnuts, but here the recipe has been updated to make it a little more contemporary.

Don't be off-put by the slightly strange combination of ingredients, this soup works really well and is very easy to make. It's an excellent soup for a dinner party and I have made it several times as a starter for our main Christmas lunch.

Fennel and Walnut Soup Recipe

Serves: 4


olive oil, for frying
1 bulb of fennel, chopped
1 head of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
75g (3 oz) walnuts, crushed
1.2l (5 cups) vegetable stock or bean stock
45ml (3 tbsp) Pernod
140ml (3/5 cup) single cream
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
parsley, to garnish


Heat a little olive oil in a pan, add the fennel, celery and onion and fry for about 6 minutes over low heat, or until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the walnuts and the stock then bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside to cool slightly then pour into a food processor or a blender and process until smooth.

Wash the pan and return the soup to it. Allow to heat through gently then stir in the Pernod and single cream and adjust the seasonings to taste.

Heat through once more (do not boil) then turn into a warmed soup tureen and serve garnished with torn sprigs of curly parsley.

Serve immediately.

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