The light creamy texture of this soup is a truly delectable experience to relish. Augment the soup's hearty flavor by sprinkling pieces of fresh fennel and browned bacon over drizzled sour cream.
- 1/4 pound bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup sherry, Port or Marsala
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 6 small bunches fresh fennel, cut into small pieces, used at garnish
- In a stockpot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the bacon and cook until well brown, stirring well about 3-4 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate linked with a paper towel and set aside.
- Add the onion, garlic, carrots, thyme, and red pepper flakes to the pot and continue to cook over medium-high heat stirring well until the onion begins to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the wine, bring to a boil and stir well to dislodge the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine is reduced by 1/2, about 3 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 40-45 minutes stirring well every 15 minutes.
- Add the soup, in batches, into a food processor and process it to smooth cream-like consistency. Place the soup back in the stock pot and keep warm.
- Serve the soup in bowls and decorate the top of each bowl with a light drizzle of sour cream, pieces of fresh fennel and pieces of browned bacon.
- Chef's Tip: For a more elegant finish, using a squirt bottle, decorate top of each bowl of soup with concentric circles of sour cream, then score it at equal intervals with the top of a paring knife's blade, moving from the outside circle inward, toward the inside circle. It will create a very elegant design.