Friday, March 16, 2012

Carrot & Fennel Soup with Moroccan Spices

Carrot & Fennel Soup with Moroccan Spices

Mizzle. That’s what we have today here. After a week of uncannily late-Spring-like weather, and lots of sun, we have mizzle. A gray day cool day. A miserable mix of mist and drizzle. Calls for soup. Soup and a nap on the sofa with the dog. But first the soup. Something not run of the mill. A pretty, sunny yellow soup with warm, exotic flavors.

While the combination isn’t truly Moroccan, the seasonings are. This carrot and fennel soup will make the sun come out, no matter how much miserable mizzle you’ve got.

Carrot and Fennel Soup with Moroccan Spices

2T olive oil
½ tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp. minced ginger
3 cups sliced carrots
1-1/2 cups sliced fennel bulb (about 2 small)
Fennel fronds for garnish (set aside)
2 cups chicken stock
1 Tblsp. anisette liqueur
Kosher Salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
½ cup heavy cream
Hot water as needed

Heat the oil in a 3 to 4 quart saucepan with a cover on medium high, and add the ground spices. Reduce the heat immediately to medium, stir well, and add the garlic and ginger. Mix into the spices, cook for 20 seconds and add the carrots and sliced fennel. Stir well to coat with the spicy oil.

Add the chicken stock and the anisette, about ½ tsp. of kosher salt and a grind or two of black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the carrots and fennel are soft.

Remove from the heat, add the heavy cream and puree carefully in either a food processor or blender. If you use a food processor, you will need to do it in two batches. Add hot water as needed, a few tablespoons at a time to bring it to a “soup” consistency. Makes 8 servings, garnished with a bit of fennel frond.

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