Here’s an early summer soup that can easily be enjoyed chilled or warm. It’s easy, most of the ingredients are in your CSA share, and most people can eat it. Ours is made with homemade stock and local milk. For a dairy free version, try this tip from the comments, sub canned coconut milk. Chicken or vegetable stock will both work.
If you’re making this in the fall, when the second round of fennel is ready you’ll probably have a larger, yellow onion on hand instead of the smaller spring variety. You can even use red onions – they’ll just make this gorgeous soup that much brighter.
Chop everything as uniform as you can, the smaller the dice, the quicker the soup will cook. Crushing the fennel seeds brings out their essential oils, if you have a mortar and pestle use it. We don’t and the back of a wooden spoon worked just fine.
Creamy Beet & Fennel Soup 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped into ½ inch dice
3-4medium beets (1 lb), peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup whole milk (or coconut milk)
garnish: lightly toasted fennel seeds & fennel fronds
In a large soup pot sauté the onions, fennel seed, salt and fennel with the olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add beets and salt, then cook for about 5 minutes until the beets start to soften. Pour in the stock, bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook about 20 minutes or until the beets are soft.
With immersion blender (or in small batches in a blender) blend until smooth. Whisk in the milk. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve soup garnished with toasted fennel seeds and fennel fronds.