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With temperatures rising up into the high 20 degrees centigrade and 60s Farenheit, and the green season coming upon us ... This lovely cream with an earthy flavor enhanced by a velvety texture, is a perfect low calorie, low fat lunch or as an appetiser served in Martini Stemware ... 

 

Serves 4

 

1 leek ( white and light green part only ) haved and thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves minced

1 1/2 tsps. fennel seeds

5 tblsps extra virgin olive oil

1 medium potato - peeled and chopped

2 medium fennel bulbs ( reserve fronds and cut bulbs into 1/2 inch slices )

5 cups mineral water

1 eight inch baguette of choice cut into one inch cubes for the croutons )

1 tsp grated orange zest

stalks of fennel for garnish

 

1) preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit with rack in middle

2) wash leek and then sauté with the garlic, fennel seeds, and salt in 3 tblsps of olive oil

in a sauté pan, over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until softened about 7 to 8 minutes

3) Peel potato and cut into 1/2 inch chunks

4) Add the potato, fennel and water into leek mixture and simmer, covered stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender - 15 to 17 minutes or so.

5) toss the bread cubs with remaining olive oil and salt in a  shallow baking pan and bake stirring once or twice until crisp and golden

10 to 12 minutes

6) Purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor and return to pot and season with salt and pepper and then, chop 1 tblsp of frods and whisk together with the crème fraîche and the orange zest and serve with the croutons and a glass of Prosecco or other Sparkling white wine of choice. This is lovely served hot or cold as a fennel Gazpacho. Margaux Cintrano.