Fennel Soup for the Soul

I wonder if people realize what a grand little vegetable the fennel is. How light and refreshing its flavor is, almost minty and summery, how it asserts itself with zero support from any strong spices, how cooling it is to the system…

Fennel soup is one of the simplest soups ever, relying on the sweet-savory flavor of fennel that is equal parts refreshing and enlivening. You can choose to take this soup in whatever direction you wish, spice-wise. I used salt, pepper, a smidgen of dried oregano. Previously, I have made this soup with dried thyme too and the results were oh-so satisfying and nourishing.

Fennel Soup

Ingredients

1 fennel bulb
a couple of glugs of extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
dried oregano

Method

  1. Chop fennel into small-medium pieces. Use the stalks and fronds if tender. Else, discard them and only use the bulb.
  2. Warm a couple of glugs of extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan. Add the chopped fennel, salt, pepper and oregano. Stir well.
  3. Allow the fennel to cook on medium heat. Stir intermittently. Keep the lid on, so the heat is retained and the fennel cooks down faster.
  4. As soon as the fennel begins to soften and turn translucent, you can turn the heat off. Keep the lid on, so the fennel cooks down even more.
  5. After a few minutes, when the cooked fennel is sufficiently cool, blend it to a chunky consistency using an immersion blender. You can also use a regular blender. You can also blend it to a thin consistency, if you like.
  6. Add water, bring to a boil. Add salt, if necessary.
  7. Turn heat off.

Voila!

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