One of the best parts of summer is cold soup. No, not soup that’s *gone* cold. We’re talking about soup that’s fresh, right from the garden (or farmers market), and made to cool you down when the heat of summer is at its peak.
The best known cold soup is probably gazpacho, but many fruits and vegetables lend themselves to chilly treatment. This week’s recipe stars fennel, which you should be seeing in the markets and which is featured in Hilltop Hanover Farm’s CSA basket this week. (You can read our profile of Hilltop Hanover here.)
We found this recipe from our always-reliable kitchen friend, Mark Bittman. (Okay, he’s not really our friend, but we like to think he’s looking over our shoulder with words of encouragement and approving glances.)
You’ll need fennel (of course), and also an onion and some butter. And, for liquid, either stock or water. We made this with water and it didn’t diminish the depth of flavor at all. Finally, for looks as well as a flavor boost, the recipe suggests a chopped herb for garnish; in this case, chervil.
Sauté 1 1/2 pounds trimmed and chopped fennel and 1 peeled and chopped onion in 2 tablespoons butter to soften, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups stock or water; boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer until fennel is tender, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly, purée, strain and refrigerate. Garnish: Chopped chervil.