This soup turned out to be a little bit of sunshine in a bowl. The colour is very springy and the pureed texture is smooth with hints of liquorice, mild onion and a nice balance of acidity and sweetness.
I use fennel frequently in stirfrys and even raw in salads. Its unique flavour adds such an interesting twist on what may be an otherwise relatively everyday dish. Fennel is a versatile vegetable that plays an important role in the food culture of many European nations, especially in France and Italy. Its esteemed reputation dates back to the earliest times and is reflected in its mythological traditions. Greek myths state that fennel was not only closely associated with Dionysus, the Greek god of food and wine, but that a fennel stalk carried the coal that passed down knowledge from the gods to men.
Good quality fennel will have bulbs that are clean, firm and solid, without signs of splitting, bruising or spotting. The bulbs should be whitish or pale green in color. The stalks should be relatively straight and closely superimposed around the bulb and should not splay out to the sides too much. Both the stalks and the leaves should be green in color. There should be no signs of flowering buds as this indicates that the vegetable is past maturity. Fresh fennel should have a fragrant aroma, smelling subtly of licorice or anise. Fennel is usually available from autumn through early spring.
Fennel is low in fat and calories, cholesterol-free and high in dietary fiber. It also contains compounds that may help improve the health of diabetics.
This dish is relatively low carb at 15g net carbs and 5 Weight Watchers. It’s delicious piping hot but can also be enjoyed cold.