Recipe: New School of Cooking’s Carrot Fennel Soup

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Anne Smith is the owner and director of The New School of Cooking in Culver City. We caught up with her at the Farmers Market this week, where she shared her recipe for a Carrot, Fennel and Orange Soup. Sounds divine… keep reading for the recipe.

Carrot, Fennel & Orange Soup

serves 6

2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks trimmed flush with bulb, and bulb sliced thin crosswise
1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
3 lbs carrots, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
6 cups highest quality vegetable or chicken stock (recipe follows)
1/3 cup fresh orange juice plus 1 teaspoon orange zest
1/3 cup crème fraiche
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a soup pot, cook fennel in the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and beginning to turn golden. Add carrots and garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add stock and salt, and simmer, covered, 20 minutes or until carrots are very tender.

In a blender, puree mixture in batches with orange juice, zest, crème fraiche, and salt and pepper to taste until smooth, transferring back to the soup pot. Heat through and serve.

Vegetable Stock
Yields about 4 quarts

3 lbs mire-poix, fine dice (equal amounts of onion, celery and carrots)
1 tsp salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs thyme
4 qts water

summer squash
green beans
red or yellow bell peppers
corn cobs
marjoram, basil, summer savory

celery root
mushrooms, dried mushrooms
winter squash

Saute the vegetables in the olive oil with salt over medium heat until they begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add wine and reduce by half.

Add water and bring to a simmer.

Simmer about 30 minutes.

Strain, cool, store.

Note: The basic recipe makes a bland stock, so the seasonal additions are highly recommended.