Fennel, Pear and Cauliflower Soup
In this kind of weather it is nice to have a warm bowl of soup with your meal. Why not try this one? This is a very aromatic soup with an amazingly smooth texture. It makes an interesting first course. You can purée and refrigerate it a couple of days ahead but don’t add the cream until after gently reheating it.
4 Tbsp butter or olive oil
3 medium leeks, sliced & well rinsed about 3 cups
1 fennel bulb, trimmed & chopped about 1½ cups (save some leaves for garnish)
1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup pear juice
7 cups vegetable broth
1 head cauliflower, cut in small florets
1 large pear, peeled, cored and chopped
1 Tbsp dried tarragon
½ cups heavy cream
1 tsp lemon juice
Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks, fennel, parsnip, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the pear juice, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a nice syrup, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower and pear. Turn the heat down to medium low, stirring occasionally until the cauliflower is very soft. Stir in the tarragon.
Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth and transfer to a large bowl. Return the soup to the pot, stir in the cream, and reheat. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve topped a sprinkle of fennel leaves.
— Barbara Rexford