Every recipe tells a story. This recipe tells the story of a girl who ate vegetable soup for dinner every night for a month last winter. She was experimental with her soup blends; no recipes, just one part creativity and a sprinkle of common sense. Cauliflower + sweet potato + ginger to ease the knots in the belly. Carrot + kabocha + turmeric to calm the storm within. Oh, here's some broccoli. Let's throw that in there. You get the idea.
Then one day, while flipping through the virtual pages of the Internet for more soup ideas, she stumbled upon the curious act of putting fennel and pear in a pot, and decided to do just that. And the rest, as they say, is history. Warming yet bright, soothing yet playful, this simple fennel and pear soup added levity to my winter soup rotation, and I'd be foolish not to include it in my armory of defences against the dropping temperatures in the coming months. It's one of those recipes, you know...
Fennel and Pear Soup
Adapted from here. This is quite simply a puree of the aromatic fennel bulb and fruity pear. The unique taste of fennel has been compared to liquorice and anise, and that character mellows down quite a bit with cooking. This soup is uncomplicated and minimally seasoned, letting the two main ingredients provide both warmth and lightness swirled into a restorative concoction. Serves 2.
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 large fennel bulb, chopped
1 large bosc pear, peeled and chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
Fennel fronds, to garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in a deep pan on medium low heat. Saute garlic and onions until soft and translucent.
Add fennel and 1 cup of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil for a few minutes. Add pear and 1 more cup of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until all the ingredients are tender.
Transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Or run an immersion blender in the pan. Serve warm garnished with fennel fronds.