Friday, 4 April 2008

Fennel, White Bean and Merguez Soup

I picked up some Merguez sausages at my local farmers market (Gerrards Cross, 2nd Weds of every month and a real highlight of my month!). I wasn't really too sure what to do with them, we tried them with some chickpeas and smoked paprika which was tasty if a little unexciting. When I stumbled across this recipe on the Sunday Times online website, it sounded a really interesting combination of flavours and it actually turned out way better that I could ever have imagined. It's definitely become a new flat favourite soup and we really do love our soups.

Fennel, White Bean and Merguez Soup

One bulb fennel
Two sticks celery
Two garlic cloves
Olive oil
Chicken stock
Flat leaf parsley
Ground coriander seed
Two bay leaves
One tine of white cannellini beans
Three Merguez sausages

Heat oil in a large pan and sweat the chopped fennel, crushed garlic and chopped celery for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock (I used about a pint's worth), stalks of the parsley leaves, ground coriander and bay leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, roast the sausages until cooked. Remove the bay leaves and puree the soup in a blender or with a hand blender. Add in the tin of drained and rinsed white beans. Pour the soup and beans into a bowl. Chop the sausages and scatter them on top of the soup. Finish with chopped fresh flat leaf parsley.

This just about made enough for two for a light supper - this is not a very photogenic soup but the flavours were just incredible.

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