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Carrot and Fennel Soup with Roasted Pear Relish

Serves12
IngredientsPears
Day PartDinner
Menu PartSoup
Cuisine TypeAmerican

Chef Brian Scheehser
Trellis Restaurant
Kirkland, Wash.

Many chefs rely on root vegetables as their produce pick for winter menus. Carrots are a smart choice, as they perk up both the color and flavor of dishes. In this soup, the carrots add sweetness that is balanced by the licorice flavor of fresh fennel. A minty pear relish provides contrast and textural interest.
 

Ingredients

Pear relish
1 1/4 lb. fresh Bosc or Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and halved
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. raw sugar
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup blanched fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
1/3 cup slivered fresh mint leaves

Soup
2 lb. carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 lb. fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
2 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups carrot juice
2 cups pear juice
1 cup white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps

1. Prepare relish: Preheat oven to 375 F. Place pears cut-side down in large ovenproof skillet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in oven until just barely tender. Remove pears from skillet and let cool.
2. Place skillet over medium heat; stir in vinegar and deglaze pan, scraping up bits.
3. Dice cooled pears into 1/4-inch cubes. Add diced pears, peas and mint to liquid in skillet. Stir to combine and hold at room temperature.
4. Prepare soup: In deep soup pot, combine carrots, fennel, onions and potatoes. Add chicken stock; bring to a boil over high heat.
5. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until vegetables are soft.
6. Remove soup from heat and allow to cool slightly, Puree in batches in blender or food processor until smooth.
7. Season pureed soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnish with a spoonful of relish and additional mint leaves.

Photo courtesy of USA Pears

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