Tomato Fennel Soup

from the Silver Palate (Serves 8)

3 fennel bulbs (+/- 2lbs.)

1 cup plus 2 tbs unsalted butter

1 large yellow onion

6 cloves garlic, minced

S&P to taste

2 cans (350z each) Italian plum tomatoes

1/2 cup Pernod

2 cups canned chicken broth

Cut tops from fennel and reserve leafy portion. Coarsely chop 2 of the bulbs.  Melt i cup of butter in large pot over low heat.  Add the chopped fennel and onion  and 4 garlic cloves and cook about 15 min. Until limp.  Season with s&p to taste.

Add the tomatoes with their liquid and simmer uncovered for 30 min.

Process in a blender and pass through a food mill, return to the pot.

Finely chop the remaining fennel, and sautee in a samll pan with 2tbs. Butter over medium heat along with 2 cloves of garlic.

Chop the leafy tops of the fennel, add  the sauteed fennel

Leafy tops, pernod and chicken broth to the puree.  Simmer until heated through about five minutes and serve immediately. 

Save some chopped or whole leafy tops to use as garnish.