Braised Fennel with Walnuts - Pasta top and Soup - photo JPG

One of my favorite cookbooks of all time is Janet Fletcher’s Pasta Harvest. It’s organized alphabetically by vegetable, so whatever happens to be in season, I can look up that vegetable and find a delicious way to prepare it in a pasta dish. Yum!

Today I pulled it out to cook an unusual and really delicious dish: Linguine with Braised Fennel, Walnuts, Saffron & Cream.  For the receipe, here’s a scan of the page from the cookbook:

Braised Fennel with Walnuts Saffron and Cream

I used about half the recipe over pasta, and then wondered what to do with the rest.  It occurred to me I could make it into soup.  So I threw the leftover into the blender and pureed it with a few of the green onions.  It was a little thick, so I added a bit more broth.  Perfect!  (And by the way, it doesn’t taste like licorice.)

So, to make the whole recipe as soup, simply double the broth (and don’t reduce it too much when simmering to cook the fennel).  After adding the cream, puree it in the blender until it’s smooth, adding a bit of the green onion if you wish. When serving, go ahead and top it with the walnuts, onion, parsley and chopped fennel leaves.  I’ll serve it with a slice of toasted homemade whole wheat sourdough bread, perhaps broiled with a bit of parmesan cheese.

I really encourage you to get ahold of Janet’s book — every recipe I have tried in it is as good as this one – or better!