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Potato-Fennel Soup

Yield Makes 8 cups; 5 or 6 main-dish servings
Notes: Chop feathery green fennel leaves and sprinkle onto servings.


  • 2 heads fennel (each about 3 1/2 in. wide)
  • 1 1/4 pounds onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (light cream)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons anise-flavor liqueur such as sambuca or ouzo
  • Salt and pepper

Nutrition Information

  • calories 271
  • caloriesfromfat 37 %
  • protein 9.8 g
  • fat 11 g
  • satfat 6.7 g
  • carbohydrate 32 g
  • fiber 4 g
  • sodium 202 mg
  • cholesterol 33 mg

How to Make It

  1. Rinse fennel. Trim and discard stems and bruised portions (save leaves; see notes). Chop fennel heads.

  2. In a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir fennel, onions, and butter until vegetables are golden, about 25 minutes.

  3. Add potatoes and broth. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes mash easily when pressed, about 20 minutes.

  4. In a blender, whirl soup mixture, a portion at a time, until smoothly puréed. Return to pan. Add half-and-half, and liqueur to taste. Stir over medium-high heat until hot, about 3 minutes.

  5. Ladle into bowls and season to taste with salt and pepper.