Fennel, cauliflower and truffle soup with gruyere croutons
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb (approx. 900g), cut into 2cm chunks & reserve fronds for later
- 1 cauliflower (approx. 900g), cut into small florets
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 2 leeks washed & finely sliced
- 1 L chicken stock
- 2 large potatoes (approx. 450g), peeled & diced into 2cm cubes
- 125 ml sour cream
- 2 tsp garlic & truffle salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup finely grated Gruyere
- 1 tsp lemon thyme
- 1 sourdough baguette, sliced
Gruyere & fennel seed croutons
- Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
- Place the fennel, cauliflower & garlic together in a large mixing bowl with two tablespoons of olive oil & toss together until well coated.
- Divide the fennel mixture between two baking trays & roast in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven & peel off garlic skins.
- Heat remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add leeks, cover & cook for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Add the roasted vegetables, stock & potatoes to the saucepan. Increase the heat to medium, cover & cook for 30 minutes.
- Using a stick blender, puree soup until smooth.
- Chop reserved fennel fronds & add to soup with sour cream, truffle salt & pepper, stirring until well combined.
- To make the croutons, lightly grill the baguette slices on one side.
- Meanwhile, combine the fennel seeds, Gruyere & thyme together in a small mixing bowl.
- Turn the toasts over & evenly divide the cheese mixture between them.
- Place back under the grill until the cheese has melted.
three ways with fennel:
- To braise fennel, slice 3 medium fennel bulbs about 1cm thick. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large sauté pan & cook fennel until golden. Add 1 chopped clove garlic, 1 chopped red chilli, salt & pepper & 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Cover & bake in 160°C oven for 1 hour.
- For a delicious salad, ake 1 smoked trout & nely slice a small fennel bulb, a green apple, 2 baby beetroot & 3 spring onions. Toss together in a salad bowl with 2 tablespoons chopped dill or fennel fronds. For the dressing combine 1/4 cup Greek yoghurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon grated horseradish, salt & pepper.
- For a great side dish, trim & cut 4 fennel bulbs into wedges. Place in a pot of boiling water, cook for 5 minutes, then drain. In a mixing bowl combine 1 crushed clove garlic, 250ml cream, salt, pepper & a pinch of nutmeg, stirring to combine. Arrange fennel in a large ovenproof dish & pour over cream mixture. Top with the 50g grated Parmesan, then bake in 180°C oven for 20 minutes or until golden.