Makes 8 cups; 5 or 6 main-dish servings

Notes: Chop feathery green fennel leaves and sprinkle onto servings.

How to Make It

Step 1

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

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 5

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

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