Roasted Fennel Soup with Pernod and Smoked Salmon

Roasted Fennel Soup with Pernod and Smoked Salmon by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: approx. 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium fennels, bulb and tender stalks into slices
  • 2 knobs of butter
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 60ml Pernod
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 125 ml double cream
  • Chipotle Chili, I used Smaromi
  • Salt and pepper
  • 400g smoked salmon


  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Arrange the fennel slices in a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the fennel is just tender but not brown.
  2. In the meantime melt the butter and sweat the shallots and garlic in a large pot for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Heat a pan over low-medium heat. Add the anise seeds and gently roast until fragrant – approx. 30 seconds. Crush the seeds using a pestle and mortar. Add the crushed seeds to the pot with the shallots and garlic.
  4. When the fennel slices are ready transfer to the pot along with the potatoes. Deglaze with the Pernod, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove any bits that have stuck to it. Pour the vegetable stock, bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. When the soup is ready, blend using a hand-held immersion blender into a smooth puree. Stir in the cream making sure the soup does not boil again. Slice the salmon into bite size pieces and add to the soup. Salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the chipotle chili. Serve immediately.

You'll find everything you need to know about the versatile fennel in my Food Guide, including selecting the perfect fennel and storing it for perfect freshness.

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