Kumquat-Carrot Puree with Toasted Fennel Seeds
Take advantage of kumquats’ brief season by preparing this soup that’s the bright color of sunshine. Packed with flavor, kumquats shouldn't be peeled, as the sweetness of the peel balances the flesh's tartness.
- 2 tsp. fennel seeds
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup unpeeled kumquats, chopped, plus kumquat slices for garnish
- 2 lb. (1 kg) carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 5 cups (40 fl. oz./1.25 l) chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a small fry pan over medium heat, toast the fennel seeds just until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind finely.
In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the kumquats and carrots and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the carrots and kumquats are very soft, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the ground fennel. Season with salt and pepper and serve, garnished with kumquat slices. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2011)