3 medium fennel bulbs, fonds removed and roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced
1 T red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (get Lucini, you’ll thank me)
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, drained (San Marzano is the best)
4 cups organic free-range chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup creme fraiche
sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
fresh tarragon leaves for garnish
Trim the bottoms and fronds off of the fennel bulbs. Wash well removing the heart and chop roughly (if you have an old school blender, work on a finer chop for all of your veggies). Remove the skin from your onion and finely dice. Chop your carrots* into half inch slices. Place all your veg into a bowl and go grab the olive oil. Pour your olive oil into a dutch oven or large soup pot. Bring to medium heat and add your bowl of lovely veggies. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Saute for 10 minutes or until the carrots soften and the onions and fennel are translucent. Drain your tomatoes and add to the pot along with the broth. Give a good stir and reduce to medium-low heat for about 20 minutes so the flavors can marry and dance. Remove from heat and stir in the dollop of creme fraiche just to give that kick of slight creamy goodness. Time for the blender. The key here is to ladle SMALL batches into the blender at a time. If you add too much at once you’re going to have a super unpleasant blast of hot soup everywhere. Blend on high (I highly recommend using a BlendTec or Vitamix Blender) working in batches until your soup is nice and creamy. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a few leaves of fresh tarragon and more creme fraiche if you’re feeling super french. Bon Appetit!
*when you purchase your carrots go for either farmer’s market or buy the non-packaged carrots with the ends still attached. Avoid pre-packaged carrots as they’re treated with preservatives.