Fennel is a winter vegetable commonly used in Italy, but not so common in America.
During our Culinary Adventures in Tuscany, Amalfi, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands we sample this vegetable in a variety of uses. Its delicate and somewhat licorice aftertaste makes the celery-like texture delicious—either eaten raw, dipped in extra virgin olive oil and salt as in pinzimonio or puréed into this delectable soup.
The addition of dried fennel flowers adds a summery highlight, along with the color contrast and exotic smattering of saffron.
2 fennel bulbs
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
extra virgin olive oil
few strands of saffron
1. Chop the fennel and potato into rustic chunks and set aside.
2. Slice shallot thinly and sauté in extra virgin olive oil. Add fennel and potato and coat with the oil while stirring gently.
3. Add water or vegetable broth to cover the soup by three finger width. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Put contents into a blender or food processor. Purée the soup to a velvety texture. Correct salt to taste.
6. Place in bowls and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with a touch of dried fennel flowers and a few
threads of saffron.
Author: Peggy Markel
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Author’s own