The Beet and Fennel Soup recipe is from the January 2010 Bon Appetit and I made a few changes. The original recipe called for cooking the beets in the stock but roasted beets are like nectar from the Gods in my opinion and any roasted vegetable adds a great depth of flavor to soups and purees. I also used buttermilk instead of kefir since kefir was a bit difficult to track down and the buttermilk substituted beautifully (although then I went to Whole Foods and they had BOATLOADS of Kefir). The base broth called for chicken but this dish is a Meatless Monday DELIGHT if you use vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth.
The color of the beets and the soup is breathtaking – the flavor is rich and filling but more delicate than a borscht. My 6’1 15 year old actually got up in the middle of the night and ate half of the container. That counts as a hit in my book! Besides the taste, my favorite thing about making the Beet and Fennel Soup was the time – once the beets are roasted, the entire preparation is about 45 min to table. Easy!
Remember to share your fennel recipes every Friday for #FennelFriday!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for the saucepan
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil to toss in the beets before roasting
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped fennel bulb
- 1 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 2 large (2½-to 3-inch-diameter) beets, peeled, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon of fennel pollen (for roasting beets)
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt (for roasting beets)
- 2 cups low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- Fennel fronds (for garnish)
- Toss beets in 1 TB olive oil and fennel pollen and sea salt.
- Place on tray and roast in oven at 375 for approx 45 minutes.
- Remove beets from oven and set aside.
- Heat 2 TB olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion, chopped fennel, and fennel seeds.
- Sauté until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add roasted beets and stir to coat.
- Add chicken/vegetable broth and bring to boil.
- Cover; reduce heat to medium-low.
- Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Puree soup (I use a handheld stick blender).
- Whisk in 1 cup buttermile and season soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rewarm soup.
- Ladle soup into bowls.
- Add a dollop of buttermilk to the center and garnish with fennel fronds.
- Serve and enjoy!