If you are as much of a fan of sweet potato as I am, than give sweet potato and fennel soup a try! It's smooth and luxurious texture would make you think it's way heavy than it is. Most of the savory flavor comes from the caramelized fennel and celery seed, as opposed to copious amounts of cream and butter.
While the sweet potato is simmering, if you want to dress this simple pulsed soup up a bit I highly recommend some seared mushrooms. They're definitely not necessary, but add a nice touch if you're making this for a special occasion or just want a little more flavor in life.
Serve this sweet potato and fennel soup on it's own as a hearty meal or it goes great as a side with dijon roasted halibut.
Sweet Potato and Fennel Soup
- 1 bulb fennel, (bulb and stalks cut into thin strips, fronds reserved for topping)
- 1 small white onion, (peeled and cut into thin half moons)
- 3 cloves garlic, (peeled and minced)
- 2 large sweet potatoes, (or 2-3 small ones, peeled and chopped into chunks)
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon white peppercorns, (crushed, or ground white pepper)
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 10 cups water
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- chopped pecans, tarragon, and fennel fronds, (for topping)
seared mushrooms (optional)
- ½ lb wild mushrooms, (such as chanterelle, oyster, shiitake, or maitake)
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or any neutral oil)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- In a dutch oven or large saucepan, add butter, chopped fennel, onion, celery seed, white pepper, and a pinch of salt and slowly saute over a low flame for about 45 minutes until well caramelized and browned.
- Add water, sweet potatoes, and garlic and bring to a boil and then simmer for 12-15 minutes or until you can easily poke a fork through the potato.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth and velvety. Don't rush this process, it can take 5-7 minutes for the soup to get really smooth and creamy. Then, stir in the cream and salt and keep the soup pot warm while cooking the mushrooms.
- Over high heat, toss the mushrooms and oil into a fry pan or skillet and saute until the mushrooms brown and any water evaporates, stirring often. Depending on the type of mushroom this can take anywhere from 3-10 minutes.
- Then, add butter and salt and turn off burner. Stir until the butter is melted and coating the mushrooms.
- Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with the seared mushrooms, chopped pecans, tarragon, and reserved fennel fronds.
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