Sardinian Fennel Soup with Ricotta Crouton

Source: Mark Gordon, Terzo (November 15, 2008).

Recipe Type: | Seasons: , , ,

Serves 2


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ pound white or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
1 small bay leaf
1½ pounds fennel, bulbs separated from stalks, thinly sliced, washed in cold water and drained; frond leaves lightly chopped and reserved for garnish
3 tablespoons dry white wine
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

Ricotta crouton
4 slices bread ½-inch thick from a baguette
Olive oil, to drizzle
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons fresh ricotta cheese


For the soup

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold at least 2 quarts liquid. Add the fennel seeds and cook gently for about one minute, being careful not to let the seeds turn color. Add the sliced onions, a small pinch of salt and the bay leaf. Toss the onions in oil to coat and turn heat down to low. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until the onions are translucent and sweet, stirring frequently.

  2. Add the sliced fennel and another pinch of salt to the pot. Toss to incorporate with onions thoroughly. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the fennel is soft, stirring frequently. Remove the cover and continue to cook until all liquid has evaporated. Add the wine and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 30 minutes uncovered.
  3. Adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon juice. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the fennel fronds and top with a ricotta crouton.


For the croutons

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Toss the baguette slices in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.

  2. Toast the croutons until lightly brown.
  3. Top each slice with a tablespoon of ricotta each.

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