This soup is all about caramelisation. Both onions and fennel are great candidates for caramelising because they contain plenty of natural sugars. Sautéing sliced onion slowly until tender releases the spicy notes and tear-inducing gasses and creates an irresistible combination of savoury and sweet. Fennel adds a depth of complexity and warmth.
This slow cooking step allows the vegetables to release their juices, become translucent and soft before blending into soup. It may take up to an hour but you won't need to hover over the stove - the result is well worth the time.
Butter offers the richest flavour, but you can caramelise in olive oil or clarified butter (ghee). Once you have your onions and fennel caramelised, simply add all the ingredients into the Vibe Blender stainless steel jug and blend until smooth and creamy. The soup will be piping hot and ready to serve in seconds.
The unique flavour is sensational with a generous grind of black pepper and is lovely with a thick slice of our nut & seed bread. For extra creaminess add some homemade cultured cream and toasted almonds for crunch.
3 tablespoons olive oil, butter or ghee (or a combination)
4 large onions, chopped
1 fennel, chopped
2 cloves garlic, squashed
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh thyme or pinch of dried
2 tablespoons of white wine or balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
500 ml vegetable, chicken or beef stock
¼ cup milk or cream
Drizzle with olive oil
Sprinkle with toasted flaked almonds or pine nuts.
1. Add oil, (butter or ghee), chopped onion and fennel, garlic, bay leaves and thyme to a large frying pan. It's normal if the pan seems too full at the beginning, it will cook down in volume.
2. Place on a low heat on the stove top.
3. Stir to coat with oil as they heat.
4. Cover with a lid.
5. Stir every 15 mins or as required so that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
6. It may take up to an hour for caramelisation to occur.
7. To increase the caramel flavour, sauté for a few minutes with the lid off at the end.
8. When done they will have become soft and brown and have a slightly sticky consistency.
9. Remove the pan from the heat. Discard the bay leaves and thyme stem.
10. Stir in the white wine or balsamic vinegar to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Not only will deglazing pull up tasty sticky bits, it will add even more flavour to your caramelisation.
11. Transfer the hot pan ingredients into the Vibe Blender stainless-steel jug.
12. Add the warm stock, salt and pepper.
13. Blend on ‘soup’ mode for approx. 30 seconds.
14. Taste test. Adjust seasoning.
15. For extra creaminess, add a dash of milk or cream