Friday, July 27, 2007

July 21, 2007: Fennel leek soup

We needed a better excuse for our trip to Preston Markets than just the nearby bakery, so before we set off we dug up this fennel leek soup recipe from our Moosewood cookbook for Sunday night's dinner. It was loaded up heavily with vegetables and seemed like it would be a decent winter's dinner. The recipe took a bit longer than I anticipated - you basically end up making your own stock for the base of the soup - and the final product was a little short on flavour (at least partly due to my forgetting to put pepper in), but still heavy, warming and satisfying. The thin-sliced radishes were a fine accompaniment, as were the croutons that Cindy made up from the fresh bread we'd picked up at the markets, but the whole package was just slightly short of flavour. It's something to work on - maybe up the leek content for next time.

Fennel leek soup (courtesy Moosewood Restaurant's New Classics)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed
3 leeks
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups spinach, rinsed and stemmed
2 tablespoons chopped dill
Juice of 1 lemon
10 cups of water
Thinly sliced radishes

Trim off the odds and ends from the leeks and fennel bulb and rinse them (the odds and ends I mean) thoroughly. Keep the good bits aside for later. Place the odds and ends in a large pot along with the carrots, half the potatoes, the thyme, fennel seeds and some salt. Cover with the water and boil for 45 minutes or an hour to make stock.

While the stock is simmering, slice the fennel bulb thinly and chop the white parts of the leeks up. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the fennel and leek for about 15 minutes, until they're soft.

Strain the stock and then put the stock, the fennel and leek and the remaining potatoes back into the big pot and simmer it all for about 15 minutes. Stir in the spinach, dill, lemon juice and the rest of the salt (and the pepper!).

Puree the soup in batches in a food processor until smooth. Serve it up with a handful of radish slices and a few croutons floating on top.


  1. omg...probably for the first time in my entire existence i have leeks and fennel residing in my fridge..together! have been wondering how to get rid of them, this is psychically perfect! thanks guys!! looks delicious!


  2. sounds very interesting - I wonder if the light taste is due to the new edition having less butter and salt and 'bad stuff' than the old edition - I found that the hummus recipe from the old moosewood better than that from the new moosewood!

  3. Happy to be of assistance, Buttons. :-D

    I wasn't aware that Moosewood had made that shift in their recipes, Johanna. This is definitely the kind that you know is cleansing you right through, not as indulgent as some of the other soups I enjoy!