Monday, 8 February 2010

Post 166: Artichoke and Fennel Soup

If there are any afficiondo's of this regular tripe out there, you may well have noticed that I'm never too happy to receive either fennel or jerusalem artichokes in my box. As yet, I've never yet had a proper artichoke, although that too could prove interesting times if I were to receive one. This week I got both. Super-duper starship trouper.

So, I just thought, I may as well go for it and put the pair of them in a soup. Here it is simmering away.

As per most of my soups, I started with a base of fried onion (1, medium) and garlic (3 cloves; not point being shy with it). To this I then added a sliced fennel and a pint of chicken stock (for extra body over veg stock) and then once this was bubbling, I sliced and added 5 bulbs (is that right) of the jerusalem artichokes, and some parsley.

Then simmer. Then blend. And then the first tasting. In the pan there seemed to be about equal fennel and artichoke. Only the artichoke could be tasted. Which seemed to be to be a very strange thing; when I've roasted artichokes, they seem to taste of very little. Here they completely overpowered the fennel. It wasn't particularly nice.

On TV recently - maybe it was Nigel Slater - some chef anyway used the thick rind from a parmesan cheese to flavour soup. The last time I had some pasta, I'd kept the rinds for just this purpose. So, in these went, along with a few twists of black pepper, for another half-hour's simmer.

The parmesan seemed to make all the difference. Not only is it now edible, but it's even pretty nice I'd say! It still doesn't taste much of fennel. If I ever repeat making artichoke soup, I'll team it with something that will give it a nicer colour. But other than that, not too bad at all.


  1. Tripe? You didn't find some of that in your veg box I hope. No, I can see fennel might be overpowered here. I thought the soup looked rather good before blending - you could then taste both the fennel and the artichokes.

  2. You are a braver man than me for trying, glad it worked out OK in the end.

  3. Choc: I think you might be right about leaving it unblended. I should have cut everything a bit smaller and it might have worked

    Kath: No bravery required; just stupidity and blind optimism. Still I've had it for my lunch two days running and there's no ill effects as yet.


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