Close

Fennel Soup

Fennel seeds are such a mainstay of Indian cooking that I’m always surprised when I don’t see more fennel bulbs cropping up in everyday food. If there’s ever a fragrance of a herb that I want lingering on me after I’m done cooking, it’s definitely that of fennel frond. Finely sliced, uncooked fennel adds oodles of an anise-like fragrance to a salad and has a crunchy texture much like that of a celery stalk. And here’s the best part – it has the faintest hint of licorice when eaten like that. Hallelujah! I’ll do anything for a hint of candy in my salad – it’s like eating salad and dessert in one go! But all that changes drastically when fennel is cooked, like in this soup. The licorice flavour is highly diminished and its freshness is enhanced. Making it the perfect accompaniment for all our other ingredients in the soup.

A zested lemon adds the perfect note of acidity, and because we like our _mirchi_in India, a pinch of red chilli flakes are always welcome to the balancing act. Our favourite onions and garlic are in there too, in fact we start with heating up some olive oil and sautéing chopped onion until it is pale golden. Then it’s like conducting your own little orchestra as you add some minced garlic, lemon zest and chilli flakes.

P.S. I think that the mere act of reading about Zubin Mehta’s recent concert in Srinagar seems to have had a deep enough impact on my impressionable little mind! Don’t you think?

Anyyyyway, I’ll try not to conduct my own little recipe-orchestra as I tell you about adding the chopped up fennel and letting it get coated in the mix we’ve got going so far. If you’ve never handled fennel before, here’s a great video to get you started. Pour in the stock and bring the entire mix to a boil. Now, you could either use a pressure cooker for this soup, but please don’t sweat if you don’t have one. In the pressure cooker, you’ll have to just give it 2 whistles, or otherwise, in a heavy bottom pan, cover the mixture and let it simmer gently for about 20 minutes.

After letting it cool, it’s just quick blitzing and the FINAL addition of milk, bring it to a quick boil and quick seasoning if required. And there, it’s DONE!

That was easy, wasn’t it? That too with ingredients that are probably lying around in your kitchen! Add some crusty bread to the party and you’ve got a hearty meal that feels light, tastes fresh and is a treat for the senses as you eat! As Julia Child would say, BON APPETIT.

Serves 2.

Print Recipe
Fennel Soup
Fennel seeds are such a mainstay of Indian cooking that I’m always surprised when I don’t see more fennel bulbs cropping up in everyday food. If there’s ever a fragrance of a herb that I want lingering on me after I’m done cooking, it’s definitely that of fennel frond. Finely sliced, uncooked fennel
Servings
Ingredients
  • 200 to 250 grams Fennel bulb or bulbs weighing
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 onion small , finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic medium size of , minced
  • one lemon Zest of
  • Pinch red chilli of flakes (adjust according to your palate)
  • 8 ounces stock fluid low sodium (chicken or vegetable)
  • 4 ounces milk fluid
  • to taste Salt pepper and
  • Croutons for serving
Servings
Ingredients
  • 200 to 250 grams Fennel bulb or bulbs weighing
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 onion small , finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic medium size of , minced
  • one lemon Zest of
  • Pinch red chilli of flakes (adjust according to your palate)
  • 8 ounces stock fluid low sodium (chicken or vegetable)
  • 4 ounces milk fluid
  • to taste Salt pepper and
  • Croutons for serving
Instructions
  1. Chop off the stalks of the fennel and save the fronds for garnish. Cut off discard the base of the bulb and then discard the core. Cut the bulb lengthwise and then chop it up crosswise. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off any parts that might have gone bad. (Video link in the post is extremely helpful, trust me)
  2. Heat olive oil in the pan of a pressure cooker or in a deep, heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until pale golden. Add garlic, chilli flakes and zest, stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add the chopped fennel bulb, stir to combine well cook for another minute.
  3. Pour the stock over the mixture, stir together bring to a boil. If using a pressure cooker, secure lid give it 2 whistles. If using pan, cover with lid let it simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
  4. Let the mixture cool then blitz completely with immersion blender / blender / food processor.
  5. Pour the mixture back in the pan, add milk, stir bring to a boil, then turn of the heat. Season as required with salt pepper. Garnish with fennel fronds and croutons before serving.
Recipe Notes

Share this Recipe

7 Comments on “Fennel Soup

amasc
September 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I really don’t like fennel but your photographs have almost changed my mind. Delicious images.

Reply
Tarika Singh
October 1, 2013 at 8:22 am

Thank you!

Reply
Deeksha
October 14, 2013 at 9:02 am

I’ve never had this soup before but after drooling at your pics, I wanna have it for dinner tonite. Any idea where I could find fennel in Mumbai?

Reply
Tarika Singh
October 14, 2013 at 9:14 am

Hi Deeksha, Nature’s Basket almost always has fennel, you can also find it at the Reliance Signature food store.

Reply
Deeksha Shastri
October 23, 2013 at 5:00 am

Thanks, I’ll check it out. Loved you new salad recipe too!

Reply
moina singh
December 11, 2015 at 11:37 am

Oh thanks this is what I saw in the market Will buy now …

Reply
moina singh
December 11, 2015 at 11:37 am

Oh thanks this is what I saw in the market Will buy now …

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *