I am suffering with a sore throat and in times like this there’s nothing like a homemade hearty soup. This soup is all about green vegetables, with a delicious aniseed flavour from the fennel and sweetness from the peas.
I’ve adapted this recipe from Gourmet Traveller, adding more fennel and less peas. I don’t think you need to use stock, I want the soup to taste fresh and sometimes stock can over power the fennel flavour.
- 1 leek
- 3 large fennel bulbs
- 250g of frozen chopped spinach or 2 bunches of fresh spinach
- 2 cups frozen pea
- 4 ½ cups water
- ½ full cream
- 100g speck
- ½ cup lemon juice
- In a large saucepan heat a teaspoon of butter and olive oil, to a medium heat
- Prepare the leek, by chopping the top off and washing thoroughly. Chop the leek roughly
- Once the oil and butter is bubbling, place the leek in the pan and cook for 5 minutes until sweated and slightly browned
- Prepare the fennel by removing the inner core and fronds. Chop into slices and place into the saucepan with the leek. Cook for 4 minutes until browned
- Add 4 ½ cups off water to the saucepan with fennel and leek. Season well with salt and pepper, then place lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Once boiling, reduce to a hard simmer with the lid on. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes until the fennel softens
- Once the fennel softens, add spinach and cook with the lid on for 4 minutes
- Once spinach is cooked, add half of the peas – one cup only
- Cook for two minutes
- Take the saucepan off the heat and add the lemon juice.
- Using a bamix or food processor, combine the soup
- Once semi smooth (but still quite chunky), add half a cup of cream
- Put the saucepan back on a low heat and add in the remaining cup of peas, cook for 2 minutes
- In a pan, heat olive oil until hot. Cut speck into lardoons and add to pan. Cook speck until crunchy.
- Serve soup in large bowls, topped with crunchy speck.
- Because you aren’t using stock, you really can’t be afraid to season the soup really well with salt