Three things I love:
- Fennel when it's roasted to sweet perfection.
- Black garlic. What the … is that, you say? Don't worry, I'll tell you in this post.
- Soup. Warm, wonderful, soul-soothing soup. Yuuummmmm.
I've made this soup a few times before but this time was definitely the best. The fennel and carrots were roasted really well, until they were dark brown and even a tiny bit burnt in some spots to give it lots of flavour.
The key to this soup, actually the key to any soup, is to use homemade or very good quality stock. I'm sorry to say but the stuff you buy in tetra packs and cans just aren't going to cut it. If you are in a pinch you can use a can (I promise I won't come over to your place and stop you .:) ) but it will lack some depth of flavour.
Don't be intimidated by making your own stock. It's really easy! You basically throw a bunch of stuff (onions, garlic, celery, carrots and chicken or beef bones) into a big pot and cover it with water. You can check out the post Homemade Chicken Stock to see how it is done.
And onto black garlic … delicious, wrinkly, paste-y, weird looking, sticky, yummy black garlic.
I wanted to share with you a picture of the black garlic I used but after ransacking my kitchen I've decided that it must have grown legs and shuffled away. The picture above is from the awesome White on Rice Couple. Make sure you check out their yummy looking Black Garlic Noodle recipe.
Black garlic (according to my good friend, Mr. Wikipedia) is, “a type of caramelized garlic … made by heating whole bulbs of garlic over the course of several weeks, a process that results in black cloves.” They taste sweet, a little like balsamic vinegar, and a little fermented like soy sauce or miso.
If you're wondering why the oil drizzled on top of the soup in the pictures looks rather un-blackish (that can't possibly be a real word, can it?), it's because I only added the black garlic after I took the photos. You can definitely make the oil without it but it is extra tasty with it.
If you make this Roasted Fennel and Carrot Soup with Black Garlic Fennel Oil, make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create.
- 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 large fennel bulbs, roughly chopped, fronds removed
- A splash of oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cardamom pods, crushed
- 2 cloves
- 1 - 3" piece of ginger, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed (not chopped)
- ¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups homemade beef or vegetable broth (or very good store bought quality - this will make or break the soup)
- ¼ cup pernod
- 3 cups half and half
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: A little chopped parsley for garnish
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 cloves black garlic
- ½ cup neutral flavoured oil
- Preheat your oven to broil at 450 degrees. Place the rack on the top shelf.
- Place the carrots and fennel on a baking sheet and coat with a slash of oil and a pinch of salt. Place in the oven and broil until dark brown and almost burnt in spots, about 15-20 minutes. Turn and broil for another 10 minutes, until the other side of the vegetables is also dark brown.
- Tie together the cardamom pods and cloves in some cheesecloth.
- Heat a splash of oil in a large pot. Add the onion, ginger and garlic. Cook over medium high heat until the onion is soft and quite brown, about 10 minutes. Add the fennel seeds and cook for 30 seconds. Add the white wine and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any delicious dark bits.
- Add the beef broth, roasted carrots and fennel and the tied together cardamom and cloves. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the cardamom and cloves.
- Transfer everything to a blender and blend until smooth before transferring it back to the pot. You will likely have to work in batches.
- Stir in the pernod and half and half. Bring to a simmer but do not let it boil. Taste and salt generously. Garnish with black garlic fennel oil and parsley to serve.
- Blend together all the ingredients then let them sit to infuse for a half hour. Strain the oil through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a clean jar. Drizzle over the soup just before serving.