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Fennel soup with toasted fennel seed oil and horseradish

Toasted fennel seed oil here adds lift and nuttiness to this creamy fennel soup.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 4 - 6
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking

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.


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 40 gm piece of prosciutto (see note)
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 120 ml olive oil
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock (6 cups)
  • 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)


  • 1
    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).
  • 2
    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.
  • 3
    To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls, drizzle
    with toasted fennel seed oil, and scatter with


Note: End pieces of prosciutto or other cured pork are perfect in soups such as this.
Drink Suggestion: Barrel-fermented sauvignon blanc. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Lisa Featherby