Fennel Vichyssoise soup

The distinctive flavour of Florentine fennel makes an unusual and delicious iced soup to serve on a warm evening. If you plan to liquidize the soup be sure to discard all the outer, tough, stringy pieces from the fennel bulb before cooking or it will not puree satisfactorily.

- 350 g [¾ lb] Florentine fennel
- 550 ml [1 pt] water or chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- 250 ml [½ pt] thick cream

1 Clean the fennel bulbs, discarding tough stringy pieces. Reserve ferny fronds for Garnish. Chop the fennel.

2 Put the fennel in a saucepan, cover with water or stock and then season. Cover the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes until tender.

3 Reduce contents of the pan to a puree using vegetable mill, sieve or liquidizer.

4 Allow to cool. When cold, stir in cream, cover and chill.

5. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds.
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