I could have sworn I blogged about this recipe before, but I can’t find any post about it, so here it is again. This is a recipe from the fall section of Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast. Despite the name, the recipe doesn’t actually call for any fennel. At least, not the vegetable. Rather, it calls for fennel seed, which Berley says brings out the natural sweetness in other ingredients. I can’t vouch for that, but I really like fennel seed in savory dishes. I was very excited to try the combination of squash, pear, leeks, ginger, and fennel seeds.
I’ve made this recipe twice now, and both times it was fine but both the color and flavor were a bit… wan? I toasted and ground my fennel, as instructed, but still I couldn’t taste the fennel seed (or the pear). Derek said he could detect a bit of pear, but he still wasn’t too fond of the recipe. Maybe my pears simply weren’t flavorful enough? Or I didn’t use the right kind of winter squash? I used butternut squash, and sometimes I suspect that the butternuts here in Germany aren’t as flavorful as the ones I used to get in America. A friend of mine here in Saarbruecken also said he made this soup, and although it worked fine, he was also underwhelmed by it. Maybe the soup simply isn’t that exciting without the garnishes–the creme fraiche, apple cider, and ground cinnamon.
I have fond memories of my friend Spoon’s ever-changing but always delicious birthday pumpkin soup, which also had fruit and interesting spices in it. But alas, this pumpkin soup wasn’t similar at all. Perhaps Spoons or Kathy will share their recipe?