Fennel and Watercress Soup
An elegant purée of fennel and potato soup with blanched watercress.
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 onion, sliced
1 pound potato, peeled and sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 pound watercress
- Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Add fennel and thinly sliced onion; cook over medium heat until onion is soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add sliced potatoes and chicken broth.
- In a cheesecloth bag, combine chopped parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, and thyme. Add to the chicken broth and simmer for 30 minutes then remove the spice bag.
- In a food processor or blender, purée the potato mixture until smooth. Return the puréed potato mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat and add cream and chopped parsley. Heat through.
- In another saucepan, place watercress in boiling water for 3 to 5 seconds then plunge in cold water. Drain. Cut the leaves from the stalks and stir into the potato soup just before serving.
Makes 8 servings.