You can serve this light, bright-tasting soup hot or at room temperature—or if you want to get a head start, make it ahead and serve it chilled. If the soup seems a little too thick after pureeing, add a few tablespoons of water to thin it out.
2 red bell peppers
2 large fennel bulbs with stalks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped leek (about 2 medium)
1 cup chopped shallots (about 2 large)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
4 ounces fresh spinach
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Dash of ground red pepper
How to Make It
Preheat broiler. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and chop; set aside.
Trim tough outer leaves from fennel. Mince feathery fronds to measure 2 tablespoons; set aside. Remove and discard stalks. Cut bulbs in half lengthwise; discard core. Chop bulbs to measure about 4 cups.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add fennel bulb, leek, and next 3 ingredients (through salt); cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth, water, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Stir in spinach and black pepper. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes at room temperature.
Pour half of fennel mixture into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining fennel mixture. Return pureed soup to pan; heat over medium heat 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Combine roasted bell peppers, yogurt, lemon rind, lemon juice, and ground red pepper in a food processor; process until smooth.
Ladle about 3/4 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture. Garnish with fennel fronds.
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I think this soup COULD be good. It did not seem flavorful enough to me. I am just getting into cooking so I didn't want to tinker with it too much. As others have said, the red pepper yogurt saved it. It is just ok and I probably wouldnt make it again
This was a delicious soup! My whole family loved it, including 9-year-old and 13-year-old kids. One observation: we all remarked that we could not taste the fennel at all while the soup was hot or warm. I later tasted the leftovers, and the fennel flavour was hugely apparent. So maybe if you love the taste of fennel, serve this soup at room temp or chilled.
Unlike the other posters, I did not like this recipe at all. You definitely need more fennel than is specified. The only thing that saved this recipe was the red pepper yogurt and the beautiful presentation. I was particularly disappointed because I love the flavor of fennel. I will not try this recipe again.
Very Good - definitely a keeper! As another has said, the red pepper sauce is the icing on the cake.
I probably added much more spinach than called for and also added a pinch of salt to the red pepper sauce.
Not only does it taste great it makes a beautiful presentation.
This was super delicious! I followed the recipe exactly. Like the previous poster mentioned, I did not get four cups of chopped fennel from two bulbs. But, it was enough anyway. I chopped vegetables coarsely and used my hand blender to blend the soup; it was ready in 20 minutes.It makes a nice, light dinner. Word to the wise: I am not sure if the soup would earn five stars without the red pepper yogurt.
Fantastic! This is pretty quick and easy to make as soups go, especially if you use the food processor to do most of the chopping. I followed the recipe exactly except I increased the amount of spinach and red peppers in order to intensify those flavors. Two large fennel bulbs do NOT create 4 cups of chopped fennel (!!) but I used the two bulbs I had and it turned out fine. Both the soup and yogurt are very elegant and highlight subtle vegetable flavors. Plus the bright green and bright pink/red color look gorgeous together.
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