2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 fennel bulbs, cored and chopped, fronds reserved for garnish
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock or water
1 teaspoon unrefined salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Freshly ground white or black pepper
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
2. Add the shallots, cover, and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the fennel seeds, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chopped fennel and garlic, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until softened.
3. Add the stock and salt, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the fennel is very soft.
4. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pan, add the lemon juice, season generously with pepper, and add more salt if needed. Stir in half the fennel fronds.
5. Divide the soup among bowls, drizzle each with a little oil, and garnish with the remaining fennel fronds.
This recipe comes from Leda Scheintaub's latest work, The Sage and the Cook: Two Generations of Gluten and Dairy Free Recipes, an e-book in collaboration with whole foods pioneer Rebecca Wood.
Leda Scheintaub’s latest work is The Sage and the Cook: Two Generations of Gluten and Dairy Free Cooking, an e-book series in collaboration with whole foods pioneer Rebecca Wood. The first book in the series is Soups and Stews, available from Amazon for $2.99. She is also the coauthor (with Denise Mari) of the forthcoming Organic Avenue; coauthor (with Carol Alt) of Easy, Sexy Raw; the recipe developer for The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto; and author of Chipotle: Smoky Hot Recipes for All Occasions. She is currently at work on The Cultured Table: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Celebrating the World of Fermentation, to be published by Rizzoli in fall 2014. She has been a freelance writer, editor, and recipe tester for the past ten years and lives with her husband in southern Vermont, where you’ll often find her at the Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market.