We got our first of three winter CSA distributions on Saturday. Look at all the great things we got!
We got about 35 lbs of produce including apples, kale, various squashes, leeks, celery, parsnips, carrots, lettuce, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, peppers, cabbage, fennel, and a kohlrabi. The bounty covered most of our kitchen island. The biggest challenge is trying to find the right storage for all these vegetables.
So far, everything we have eaten has been delicious. The apples are super fresh, the carrots are sweet, and the celery has more flavor than any celery I have had before. Tonight for dinner we made a cream of roasted fennel soup. We didn’t take any pictures because, honestly, we weren’t really expecting much. Fennel is one of those vegetables that I think people either love or hate. The flavor is pretty distinct and strong. I expected the soup to be strongly flavored of licorice. Turns out, it was really delicious. Roasting the fennel and cooking it with onions, potato, some half-and-half, and cumin creates a rich and creamy soup with subtle undertones of fennel. I am posting the recipe for all those other CSA members out there who don’t know what to do with their fennel.
Cream of Roasted Fennel Soup
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Simple Soups and Stews
1-2 fennel bulbs (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs)
1 large white onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup half-and-half
2 tbls lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Trim tough stalks and bottom stem from fennel bulb. Cut the bulb into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange the fennel and onion on a baking sheet, toss with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roast in a 375 degree oven until the vegetables are tender but not browned, about 25 minutes.
Transfer the roasted fennel and onion to a soup pot. Add the stock and potato. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Puree in a blender in batches (or all at once with a stick blender). Return the mixture to the soup pot and stir in the lemon juice, cumin, and half-and-half. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serves 4 as a main course, 8 as a first course.