Passato di Finnochio
(Purée of Fresh Fennel Soup)
Fennel is a winter vegetable commonly used in Italy, but not so common in America. Its delicate and somewhat licorice aftertaste makes the celery-like texture delicious--either eaten raw, dipped in extra virgin olive oil and salt as in pinzimonio, or puréed into this delectable soup. The addition of dried fennel flowers adds a summery highlight, along with the color contrast and exotic smattering of saffron.
Chop the fennel and potato into rustic chunks. Slice shallot thinly and sauté in extra virgin olive oil. Add fennel and potato and coat with the oil while stirring gently. Add water or vegetable broth to cover the soup by three finger width. Add salt and pepper. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Two fennel bulbs
- One shallot
- One potato
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fennel flowers
- A few strands of saffron
Put contents into a blender or food processor. Purée the soup to a velvety texture. Correct salt to taste.
Place in bowls and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with a touch of dried fennel flowers and a few threads of saffron.