WHO: F for Food is a master of soups who loves her immersion blender.
WHAT: A tangy, versatile soup that shows off what fennel can really do.
HOW: A standard sweat, simmer, purée method is all that stands in the way of you eating this soup for lunch -- today.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love the many hats this soup wears -- serve it hot, cold, for a quick lunch or an elegant dinner party -- garnish with anything your heart desires. If you want to be black-tie about it, top it with smoked salmon, but you certainly don't need it to capture this soup's charms.
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It looks like you're ready to go.
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First step: sweating the leeks.
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Once they're all slouchy, add the potatoes.
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And pour in the stock.
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After 20 minutes, it should look like this. Give yourself a pat on the back, then forge ahead.
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In go this contest's namesake: first the bulb.
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Then the fronds.
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Working in batches, purée the mixture in a blender.
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Take a peek -- it's done!
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Transfer to a bowl, then season with salt and white pepper.
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Then swirl it around for some mid-process art.
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A dollop of crème fraîche will do ya.
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Don't leave out the buttermilk! This gets stirred or whisked in, and then you're ready to serve.