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Fennel and celeriac soup with orange zest

This velvety, gently aniseedy soup is given warmth and definition with a touch of orange zest. The rich-but-sharp crème fraîche added at the end balances it all out nicely.


Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.

Add the shallots or onion and sweat gently for a few minutes.

Add the fennel and celeriac, stir well, then cover and sweat for about 10 minutes.

Add the orange zest, stock and some salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes until all the veg is tender.

Purée the soup in a blender until completely smooth, adding a touch more stock or water to loosen the consistency if necessary.

You may have to blend longer than usual to blitz out all the fibres from the fennel, but it shouldn’t be necessary to pass the soup through a sieve.

Reheat the soup if necessary, check the seasoning and serve, with a good blob of crème fraîche on top, a few fennel fronds if you have them, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Serving suggestions

Lovely and warming with some fresh crusty bread.

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  • 30g butter
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
  • 4 shallots, or 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 large fennel bulbs (about 750g), trimmed and sliced (any feathery fronds reserved)
  • ¼ large celeriac (about 250g, untrimmed), peeled and cubed
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • About 500ml vegetable stock
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4–6 tablespoons crème fraîche, to finish

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Veg Every Day!