Fennel Soup

  Fennel haters…I apologize again, but I’m making another dish you won’t be able to stand.  Sorry…learn to love the fennel or go hang out in the corner with the low-fat crew for today.
  Here’s what we’re making:
  This recipe comes from the Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread Country Inn Cookbook.  The book was a wedding present to me from my aunts and the Mr. and I have found many, many delicious soups inside.
  Here’s what you need: 
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 medium sized fennel bulbs, sliced
2 Tbsp butter
2 large yellow onions, chopped
2 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp honey
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup leaves from fennel bulbs, coarsely chopped
  Start by heating your stock in a large pot.  Once it is boiling, drop your sliced fennel in and blanch it over medium high heat for about 3 minutes.  Remove the fennel using a slotted spoon and set aside. 
  Melt your butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add your onions and saute for about 5 minutes, until they start to soften.  Add your fennel seeds (if you want more fennel flavor…and if you’re making this soup, I would think it’d be obvious you do) and saute for another 5 minutes.  Add your garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  Return your stock to a boil.  Turn the heat down to medium low, bringing the stock to a simmer and scrape the ingredients in the skillet into the stock, ladling some into the skillet to deglaze it.  Add the honey and cream.
  Let the soup simmer for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
  Return the cooked fennel to the soup when ready to serve.  Allow it to heat through.  Stir your chopped fennel leaves into the soup and serve warm.
  This soup is great exactly how it is, but if we are using it as a main course, we also boil a few potatoes and chop them into it with a bit of dill as well.  It’s mildly sweet and of course very fennel-y.  Try it and let me know what you think!

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