Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Carrot and Fennel Soup | November 3, 2008

For my parents’ birthday dinner extravaganza, I wanted a first course that would be simple and delicious, something that would have clean flavors and that wouldn’t fill us up.  Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, this soup absolutely fit the bill.

The key is roasting the veggies, which gives them a great caramelized flavor and really brings out their lovely essences.  Fennel is normally a little too anise-esque for my liking (I am not a fan of that licorice flavor), but the flavor was much more mellow after roasting and it complimented the super-sweet carrots perfectly.  I also think my homemade chicken stock made a HUGE difference in terms of depth of flavor.

A tip: do NOT be afraid to liberally salt this recipe.  The salt is absolutely necessary to help bring out the flavors of the vegetables, which are definitely sweet enough to withstand the seasoning.  Say it with me now, salt is your friend…salt is your friend…

  • 2 medium fennel bulbs
  • 1 lb carrots, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used homemade)
  • 2 1/2 cups water (approximate–I don’t think I used that much)
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lowest position.  Discard fennel stalks and fronds. Slice bulbs 1/4 inch thick and toss with carrots, onion, garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread in a 4-sided sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.  Blend vegetables in a blender with broth until very smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan.  Thin to desired consistency with extra water and simmer 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.


  1. Call me a hedonist, but I think that thinning this soup with sherry or cognac would be delightful.

    Comment by restaurantrefugee — November 3, 2008 @ 9:08 pm

  2. You’re a hedonist! And I definitely agree on the sherry. I’ll have to try the dish again with that very wise substitution and let you know how it turns out.

    Comment by bettyjoan — November 4, 2008 @ 1:10 pm

  3. I’m all for sherry!!!

    Comment by Mom — November 4, 2008 @ 8:23 pm

  4. Mom, I’m sure you are. 😉

    Comment by bettyjoan — November 12, 2008 @ 1:10 pm

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