Fennel and Onion Bisque with Fennel Puree

Adapted from The Blue Heron Inn

8 servings

2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), washed, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 medium red onions, chopped (3.5 cups)
1/2 lb. fennel bulb, fronds reserved (for puree), chopped (1.25 cups)
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups vegetable stock or chicken broth
1.25 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons Pernod

Cook onions, leeks, fennel and garlic in butter in a heavy pot over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes. Add wine and boil, uncovered, until evaporated, about 1 minute.  Add stock, water, salt, pepper and nutmeg and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream and simmer, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened and liquid is reduced to about 6 cups, about 15 minutes.

Puree soup in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth, then transfer to a soup tureen and stir in Pernod.  Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with fennel puree.

Fennel Puree

from David Tanis

1 cup roughly chopped fennel fronds
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup good olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until you have a smooth green puree.

The Italian Dish
http://theitaliandishblog.com

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