Cream of fennel and parmesan soup

Back to the Neil Perry. This is a very subtle little soup, the flavours aren’t going to knock you over but great for a supper on a Sunday…or whenever really.

Serves 4

2tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
2 medium fennel bulbs, cut into 2cm pieces
6 garlic cloves finely chopped
sea salt
1 1/2 chicken stock
3 handfuls of fresh basil leaves, plus extra to garnish
125 ml pure cream
40g grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
freshly ground pepper

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan, then add the fennel, garlic and a good pinch of sea salt.
Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fennel starts to soften, about 10 minutes

Add the stock, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Add the basil and cook for a further
2 minutes.

3. Pour the soup into a blender and pulse until well pureed but not completely smooth – you want the soup to have a bit of texture.
Return to the pan and stir in the cream and parmesan.

4. Divide the soup among four bowls, add a good grind of fresh pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
sprinkle with extra basil leaves and some grated parmesan.

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