Fennel and courgette soup
To me this soup is all about late September in England, that glorious time when the air is autumnal, the leaves are clinging on for dear life and the last whisper of summer does its best to warm the soul before the chill kicks in.
This is Saturday lunch on the veranda, a glass of crisp white wine, a hunk of fresh, still-warm French bread, good company (or a decent read) and then a light stroll down to the river.
You can make it fancy and serve it for dinner to impress, but I say keep it for your best-loved, with enough left over for the next day.
- A fennel bulb or two
- A pound or two of courgettes
- A garlic clove or two
- One big onion
- Olive oil.
- Some fresh lemon juice (a couple of tablespoons should do it)
- About a liter of good chicken stock (or vegetable stock if needs dictate)
- 1 medium pan
- 1 soup pot
- A blender of some description
- First, split the fennel and remove the touch core. Slice into thin-ish strips and place in a pan, covered with water and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile, thinly slice the onions. Slice the courgettes and crush the garlic. Season lightly if you like.
- Heat some olive oil in the soup pot and then, gently, turn the courgettes, onions and garlic in the pot for about 10 minutes until they are tender.
- Drain the fennel and add them to the soup pot. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for about 10 to 15 minutes or so.
- Blend the soup, taste and season accordingly.
What you should know
If you want to be fancy, add a dollop of Crème fraîche and swirl it around with some fennel fronds for decoration. Sour cream works reasonably well too.
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