Roasted Fennel And Potato Soup With Blue Cheese Croutons
|Fennel heads||2 (3/12 To 4 Inches Wide)|
|Russet potatoes||1 Pound, peeled|
|Olive salad/Salad oil||2 Tablespoon|
|Skimmed chicken broth||6 Cup (96 tbs)|
|French bread||1⁄4 Pound|
|Crumbled blue cheese||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)|
1. Trim fennel stalks off heads. Rinse feathery green leaves and chop enough to make about 1/2 cup; discard remaining leaves and the stalks. Trim and discard root ends and bruised areas from fennel heads. Rinse heads and cut each crosswise into 1/2- to -3/4-inch slices.
2. Cut potatoes into 1-inch chunks.
3. Put fennel slices and potatoes in a 10-by 15-inch pan and mix with oil.
4. Bake in a 450° oven until fennel is well browned, 30 to 35 minutes (20 to 25 minutes in a convection oven); turn as needed with a spatula to brown evenly.
5. In a blender or food processor, whirl vegetables, a portion at a time with enough broth to puree easily, until smooth. Pour puree into a 4- to 5-quart pan and add enough broth to make 8 cups. Stir often over medium heat until steaming.
6. Meanwhile, rinse and dry pan. Cut bread crosswise into 8 to 10 equal slices. Spread blue cheese equally onto 1 side of each piece and set bread, cheese side up, in pan.
7. Bake in a 350° oven until croutons are crisp and cheese is lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Use hot, or cool on a rack.
8. Ladle soup into bowls, float 1 crouton in each, and sprinkle with chopped fennel leaves. Add salt to taste.