Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Friendly Fennel

(A cold soup made of fennel)

People often ask me how I come up with recipes for the soup blog. Honestly, it’s a hodgepodge. Sometimes Mary will send me something she wants to try (that’s how we discovered kale! And porcini mushrooms!), sometimes it’s something I ate in a restaurant (watermelon mint), and sometimes its opening my fridge and saying, “well, I have x, y, and z and am too lazy to go to the store (hello too many bbqs leading to a veggie detox). Although I follow recipes more closely when I’m working with a new ingredient (hey, fish sauce can be scary), they never make it through the cooking process untouched. This week, as Mary is still out of town, my sister agreed to soup with me and had an extra fennel bulb (who doesn’t?). She reeeeally wanted a cold soup that our mother makes (which I’m pretty sure I’ve never had).

This was her response to me asking for the recipe:


hi alayna-

i will bring a fennel bulb and an onion tomorrow for cold fennel soup! other ingredients are chicken broth, lemon juice, and cream.


your sister

…. And you wonder where I get it from

Friendly Fennel
  • Chop 1.5 medium sized yellow onions (or one small) and sauté in olive oil
  • And the 3 bulbs of fennel (only the white parts) roughly chopped, but small enough to cook quickly, and cover
  • Add five medium-small red potatoes (you can skip this step if serving as an appetizer, but I like the weight it gives the soup if you’re having it as a full meal)
  • Once the fennel and potatoes are cooked through, add room temperature vegetable broth, the juice of 1.5 lemons and salt and pepper to taste
  • Blend and let sit in the fridge (or freezer) until cold


      • This soup is also delicious warm (as long as it’s not too hot out)
      • I think it would be even more delicious if you added leeks with the onions
      • For some reason I made a LOT more soup this week than normal… for a normal sized recipe, just use 2 fennel bulbs and 3 potatoes, one lemon

More happy soupers!


  1. Dear Mondayssoup,

    I think that is an unfair representation of my willingness to contribute to the recipe portion. The email you copied is accurate, but it was followed by this e-xchange:

    can you pick up a bottle of white? i'll run to the grocery store right after work and get cream and lemon. is there any particular recipe you're thinking of, b/c i was going to make stuff up.

    i have a printout of mom's recipe for the fennel soup that you can improvise on. sometimes i think truffle oil would be good in there... or (now i'm looking at epicurious) maybe you could add artichoke and top it with bacon. MMM. seems like it's paired with pork a lot. or we could make like little sandwiches to pair it with like toasted bread, layer of ham/bacon, and melted cheese on top.
    i will bring wine.

    what does mom's recipe have in it?

    mom's recipe has: butter, onion, fennel, chicken broth, salt, pepper, lemon juice, cream

    I personally feel that I was extremely helpful. And I DID bring the paper printout - not that we used it.

    your sister

  2. haha... very true. but there were still no quantities, and you didn't even take the recipe out!