Monday, August 11, 2008


After I made

Fantastic Fennel-Pumpkin Soup
,I was left with half a fennel bulb. I really like fennel, but I don't use it every day, and I kind of have to think about how to use it. I also had mushrooms that needed to be used up. So I searched the internet for a mushroom-fennel soup, and couldn't believe there were no recipes. How hard can it be to combine fennel and mushrooms, I thought. And I was right. It's not hard at all, and this soup was dee-lish. The photo looks pretty yukky. I understand there's quite an art to food photography, and a lot of the photos that we admire of food are not really the finished product at all, but something staged to look good. Well the above photo is the real lthing and it tasted a lot better than it looks up there. We both enjoyed this, and I didn't tell fussy Guy that there was fennel in the soup because he thinks he doesn't like it, though he never (until this soup) tasted it. Fennel is great stuff and I'm going to continue to look for new ways to use it.

Mushroom Fennel Soup
Rating: 9 out of 10
2 Tbsp, Smart Balance buttery spread
heaping 1/2 cup chopped fennel (about 1/4 of a large bulb, trimmed)
1/2 cup chopped shallots (1 large bulb)
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used Baby Bella -- they have deeper flavor than white)
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup drinking-quality white wine
1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or more, if preferred)
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. lite sour cream
2 Tbsp. fat-free half and half
Garnish: 2 Tbsp. lite sour cream + 1 Tbsp. chopped chives

In 3-quart heavy saute` pan, using medium heat, heat Smart Balance till it sizzles. Add fennel and shallots. Cook about 2 minutes; cover pan, reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes till fennel gets soft. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent burning. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper -- try adding about 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Turn heat to high and add wine. Let it bubble for 30 seconds or so, then add the broth and thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Puree soup in blender or right in the pot with immersion blender. Reheat over medium-low heat and add Parmesan cheese, sour cream and half and half, stirring to blend well. Do not boil. Serve in bowls with 1 Tbsp. sour cream and 1/2 Tbsp. chives as a garnish for each bowl. Yield: 2 large servings.


The Mushroom Lady said...

What a fabulous recipe! I love fennel, and I am sure that the combination of mushrooms and fennel is just delicious. I will have to try this one, thanks for sharing!

Judy said...

Mushroom Lady - Please let me know how it turns out. BTW, I checked out your blog. It looks interesting. I'm headed out of town, but when I get back, I will visit some more.