fennel soup

FENNEL VELOUTE

Serves 6

2 tsp fennel seeds
1 star anise
50g butter
1kg fennel, finely sliced
2 medium onions, finely sliced
1 small potato, finely sliced
2 tbsp Pernod
750ml warm chicken stock (ideally fresh)
100ml double cream
Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste

Place the fennel seeds and star anise in a muslin bag and tie it up to make a bouquet garni. Set a large pan over a medium heat, melt the butter and cook the sliced fennel, onion and potato with the bouquet garni, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the Pernod and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes to reduce it. Now add the warm stock to the vegetables, then simmer for 10minutes. Remove the bouquet garni. Blitz the soup using either a hand blender, a mouli-légumes or by putting batches in a food processor, then pass through a sieve. Return the soup to the pan, add the cream and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste, and serve.

from Heston Blumenthal

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