With the crunch of sourdough croutons and creamy lightness of crème fraîche, it's ideal as an entrée for dinner parties or simply a quick meal at home.
While soups are often relegated to the cooler months, this Italian number deserves year-round attention.
- 30 g unsalted butter
- 2 cups chopped fennel bulb
- 1 cup chopped brown onion
- 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 560 g frozen peas
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 120 g (½ cup) crème fraîche
- 2 tbsp good olive oil, plus extra, for drizzling
- 2 cups sourdough bread cubes (cut into 1 cm dice)
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the butter in a large saucepan, add the fennel and onion and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the chicken stock, increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Add the peas and cook for 3 minutes or until the peas are tender. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, to make the croutons, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan until hot. Add the bread and cook over medium heat, tossing frequently, until the bread is evenly toasted and browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drain on paper towel.
Using a food processor or stick blender, blitz the soup in batches until coarsely pureed. Place in a saucepan, then whisk in the crème fraîche and taste for seasoning. Reheat over low heat until hot, then serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some croutons on top.
This recipe is from A Barefoot Holiday.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by O Tama Carey. Creative concept by Belinda So.