Roasted Fennel Soup with Walnuts and Stilton
This soup is the winner of the Culinary Institute of America's walnut contest in 2000. Roasted fennel provides a delicate fragrance to this creamy, yet healthy, soup. As a garnish option, top with 1 1/2 teaspoon crumbled Stilton cheese and lemon zest.
1 large bulb fennel, cut into quarters
2 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 leek, whites only, sliced
1 cup russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup toasted California walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Stilton cheese, crumbled
Lemon, zest only, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
- Preheat oven to 400ºF (205ºC). Toss fennel with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast fennel on baking pan until tender and golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- While fennel is roasting, heat remaining oil in a heavy, medium-sized pot over a medium-low flame. Add leeks, stirring to coat with oil. Cover pot and cook the leeks for 5 minutes, until they are translucent. Add potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are fully cooked, about 20 minutes. Purée mixture with a hand-held blender or in food processor until smooth.
- Allow fennel to cool. When easy to handle, slice fennel into small strips about 1/2 inch. Add to potato mixture, along with dry sherry and the half and half to reach the desired texture of the soup. Return to a simmer, and stir in walnut pieces. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss Stilton cheese with lemon zest.
- To serve, ladle soup into warm bowls. Top with a tablespoon of Stilton mixture. Sprinkle with minced chives and extra walnuts if desired.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe): 300 calories, 7g protein, 19g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 489mg sodium, 22mg cholesterol, 22g total fat, 5g saturated fat.
Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Walnut Marketing Board.