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Quick and easy recipe for a flavorful, creamy pumpkin and fennel soup!
In my books, there is no pumpkin celebration month without a proper creamy pumpkin soup. That screams fall perfect comfort food. At least for me!
This is not a regular pumpkin soup. It is a celebration of flavors. I mean strong flavors.
I know, there is a lot happening in this soup. Today, we forget everything I usually say about keeping it simple. All the secret is in combining these strong and aromatic flavors to have an unforgettable soup. Oh, trust me, it will be one of those recipe that you will always remember how exquisite it was 🙂
I have had this soup last year around this time of the year in Canada, somewhere in Toronto area but for the life of me I cannot remember the name of the restaurant. We were driving out of Toronto and stopped for a quick lunch in a small little town. You know, those cute countryside towns. I am always adventurous when ordering food and I have to say I am usually the one who is ending up not happy with my dish. My husband, on the other hand, it is by far the most inspired when it comes to new dishes. I know, I should go his way but if I am going to have whatever he is having…what’s the fun?!
Well, this time was one of those few, like counting fingers on one hand, that I got the best dish. This pumpkin and fennel soup with apple cider and blue cheese was one of the most delicious soups I have ever eaten. Kid you not! That’s why I called my soup Canadian pumpkin and fennel soup. I am pretty sure that you can probably find this combination in other places in North America, but for me it’s a Canadian recipe.
What is the secret od this creamy, bright orange soup? Fennel.
Its aromatic flavor combined with the sweetness of pumpkin makes this soup so fantastic, which otherwise might be a little bit too mild. Fennel is one of the most underrated vegetables I can think of, and it also happens to be one of my favorites. The fennel bulb, which looks like a large base of a bunch of celery, has a very aromatic perfume, somewhere between licorice and anise-like flavor. I just love it!
- 2 lb. 1 kg pumpkin/ squash (I used butternut)
- ½ fennel bulb sliced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- blue cheese for garnish optional
Cut the pumpkin in half, scrape out and discard the seeds. Peel it off and cut it into 1 inch (aprox 2.5 cm) pieces.
Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Add pumpkin cubes and sliced fennel. Sauté for another 5 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and apple cider. Add also bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove and discard bay leaf.
Purée in batches and return the soup to saucepan. Add salt and pepper. If your soup is too thick, thin with more chicken broth as needed.
Ladle into serving bowls and top with some fresh thyme and crumbled blue cheese.
Serve right away.