Roasted Fennel Soup with Walnuts and Stilton

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Menu Part: Soup
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: 4

A creamy, yet healthy, soup. Roasted fennel has a delicate fragrance and the crumbled Stilton cheese garnish provides a nice balance.

Ingredients

1 large bulb fennel, cut into quarters
2 tbsp. canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 leek, white part only, sliced
1 cup russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp. dry sherry
1⁄2 cup half-and-half
1⁄2 cup toasted California walnuts, coarsely chopped
1⁄4 cup Stilton cheese, crumbled
1 lemon, zest only, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh chives

Steps

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss fennel with 1 tbsp. oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast fennel on baking pan until tender and golden brown, about 15-20 min.

2. While fennel is roasting, heat remaining oil in a heavy, med.-sized saucepan over
med.-low heat. Add leeks, stirring to coat with oil. Cover pot and cook leeks for 5 min., until translucent. Add potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fully cooked, about 20 min. Puree mixture with a hand-held blender or in food processor until smooth.

3. Allow fennel to cool. When easy to handle, slice fennel into small, 1⁄2-in. strips. Add to
potato mixture, along with dry sherry and the half-and-half to reach the desired texture of the soup. Return to a simmer; stir in walnut pieces. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Toss Stilton cheese with lemon zest. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top with tbsp.
of Stilton mixture. Sprinkle with minced chives and extra walnuts if desired.