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

How to Make It

Step 1
1

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

Step 2
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
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
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
5

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

Ingredients

 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

Directions

Step 1
1

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

Step 2
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
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
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
5

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

Potato-Fennel Soup