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Pea and ham soup

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Fennel soup with toasted fennel seed oil and horseradish


We love the idea of adding flavour to dishes with simple infused oils, such as a herb or spice oil, and the toasted fennel seed oil here adds lift and nuttiness to this creamy fennel soup. A crumbling of blue cheese or thin shavings of aged cheddar would also make a lovely extra topping.

You'll need

1 onion, finely chopped 40 gm piece of prosciutto (see note) 12 garlic cloves, peeled 120 ml olive oil 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock 6 fennel bulbs (1.5kg), diced, and 1 cup fronds finely chopped, to serve 300 gm sour cream Finely grated horseradish, to serve   Toasted fennel seed oil 120 ml grapeseed oil or light olive oil 1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed (between coarse and fine)

Method

  • 01
  • For toasted fennel seed oil, gently heat oil and fennel seeds in a small saucepan over lowmedium heat until seeds become fragrant and oil is only just too hot to touch. Set aside to cool and infuse (1-2 hours).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, sauté onion, prosciutto and garlic in olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat until onion starts to turn light golden (15-17 minutes). Add stock and fennel and simmer uncovered until fennel is very tender (30-35 minutes). Discard prosciutto and purée soup with a stick blender (or in a blender in batches, cooling the soup first). Season to taste. Just before serving, bring soup back to the boil, then stir in sour cream and fennel fronds, and season to taste.
  • 03
  • To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls, drizzle with toasted fennel seed oil, and scatter with horseradish.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Additional Notes

Note: End pieces of prosciutto or other cured pork are perfect in soups such as this.

Drink Suggestion

Barrel-fermented sauvignon blanc.

Featured in

April 2016

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