1 1/2 cups
Canadian bacon or thick-cut pancetta, cubed
Standard-size bags frozen peas
Dry sherry (or white wine)
Half & half
For the toppings
Start by prepping the veggies. Slice the fennel bulb into thin pieces and roughly chop. Mince garlic cloves and two shallots.
Place bacon into a large pot with some olive oil. Once the bacon is sizzling and slightly browning, remove from the pot and set aside for now.
In the same pot, add the garlic, shallots, fennel, dill, kosher salt and pepper and a bit more olive oil if needed. Simmer on medium-low heat until the fennel begins to soften, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the sherry to the pot, bring to a boil. Add the chicken broth and peas to the pot. Season again with salt and pepper. Let the soup reach a boil again, and then remove from the heat.
While soup is cooling, work on the toppings. For the shallots, slice the remaining shallots into about 1/8 inch slices. Dress with oil, kosher salt, flour and cornmeal. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil to high heat and place shallots in the pan turning once to brown each side. For the cream, mix the crème fraiche, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl.
Go back to the soup pot and use an immersion blender to blend into a smooth mixture. You can also ladle the soup into a regular blender. Once blended, add the half and half and the bacon back into the soup, stir. Season again to taste.
To serve, reheat soup, drizzle with the lemon cream and top with the fried shallots.