Friday, November 16, 2007

Red Pepper Fennel Soup

I got this recipe from Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine. It was really yummy! My grocery store did not have fresh fennel so I threw in about 2 T of fennel seeds instead and it still had a nice strong flavor. Very good, very easy!

2 roasted red peppers, thinly sliced lengthwise (I used 3)

*to roast peppers: I sliced them and put them all skin down on a foil lined baking sheet and broiled them a few minutes until getting dark spots then flipped them all and cooked until black spots on the skin.
6 tablespoons butter, melted (I used olive oil)
1 leek (white part only), thinly sliced crosswise (I used an onion)
1 small bulb fennel with fronds, bulb finely chopped and fronds chopped for garnish (as mentionned, I couldnt find it in the store so I just used approx 2 T of fennel seeds instead)
1 potato (1/2 pound)—peeled, halved and thinly sliced
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper
2 pitas, split and cut into wedges (I omitted)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used a little less just enough to make it creamy but it would probably also be good omitted)
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°. Reserve 4 strips of roasted red pepper and set aside. In a medium pot, place 4 tablespoons melted butter over medium heat. Add the leek and chopped fennel bulb and cook until lightly golden, about 10 minutes.

Add the remaining roasted red peppers, the potato, broth, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the pitas on a baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle with some of the fennel fronds and salt; toast in the oven, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

Using an immersion or standing blender, working in batches if necessary, blend the potato mixture until smooth. If desired, place a sieve over a large pot and strain the soup. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.

Serve the soup hot or cold with the pita chips. Dollop with sour cream, if desired, and top with the reserved roasted red pepper strips and more fennel fronds.

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