About this recipe:Sweet aniseed-flavoured fennel and mushrooms make a delicious combination in this smooth vegetable soup, topped with a cheesy garnish. Serve with chunks of rustic bread to make a satisfying meal.
2 fennel bulbs
grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 potatoes, about 800g in total, peeled and diced
250g closed cap brown mushrooms, halved
100ml dry sherry
600ml vegetable stock
300ml semi-skimmed milk
175g Caerphilly, Lancashire or Cheshire cheese, finely crumbled
Add to shopping list
Turn this recipe into a shopping list you can print, email, view on your mobile or shop online. It's free! Powered by Whisk.com
Method Prep:25min › Cook:35min › Ready in:1hr
Trim any feathery tops from the fennel and reserve for garnishing the soup. Cut the bulbs into quarters. Finely chop one quarter and place in a bowl with the lemon juice, stir well and set aside for topping the cooked soup. Roughly chop the rest of the fennel.
Place the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and roughly chopped fennel, cover and cook over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. The vegetables should be slightly softened but not well browned.
Add the potatoes and mushrooms, stir well, then pour in the sherry and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the potatoes are tender and falling apart.
Purée the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth, or in the pan using a hand-held blender. Stir in the milk and lemon zest, season with freshly ground black pepper, then reheat if necessary. Mix the reserved chopped fennel with the cheese. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with this mixture and garnish with the feathery fronds.
*Use Jerusalem artichokes instead of the potatoes or a head of celery instead of the fennel. Leeks would also be delicious with the potatoes and mushrooms as an alternative to fennel. *For a really hearty meal, spread the cheese and fennel mixture onto thick slices of French bread, then toast until golden and bubbling. Serve with the soup.