Tag Archives: fennel

Creamy Winter Veg Soup

It’s the week before Christmas, and in light of what happened this past Friday in Connecticut I think everyone is slowing down and enjoying time with their loved ones.  I don’t really talk about politics on this blog, but I will mention that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the grieving families who have lost a loved one.

Whenever I feel melancholy or overwhelmed, I do like a warm bowl of soup.  It’s comforting, and a perfect way to end a cold winter day.  This one is extremely easy, and does not take too much time, or many ingredients to make.  As each of you hurry to get all of your Christmas shopping done, plan your holiday meals, and decorate your homes- also take the time to make some warm soup (such as this one!) and enjoy it with your family and friends.

Also, a note on the new bowls.  We received these as a wedding present (all different colors) from our friends- Ben & Brittany- from Anthropologie, a colorful bowl for a gloomy evening!

Winter Veg Soup

Creamy Winter Veg Soup
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 leeks, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 bulb fennel, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
4-5 turnips, peeled & chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 large potatoes, cooked OR 3 cups mashed potatoes
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups of water
1/4 cup of parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Then add in the onion, sauté them until they are translucent, for about 5 minutes.  Then add in the leeks, bulb fennel, turnips, salt and pepper.  Cook while stirring for about 10 minutes, or until the fennel is soft.  Then add in the potatoes, broth and water, cook for another 15 minutes.

Puree the soup using a blender.  Pour back into the large pot, cook for another 10 minutes, feel free to add more salt or pepper.

Ladle soup into bowl, sprinkle with parsley & enjoy with a slice of fresh bread!

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Clams and Linguine with White Wine Sauce

I know there hasn’t been a post on this blog in a week!  We have been cooking, but we’ve been having problems with the photography.  Our little space is fairly dark, especially now that summer is coming to an end, so until we have some new camera equipment (on the way!), it’s difficult to show off the appetizing food.  Until then, try out one of Sam’s newest recipes. 

I have to say that I’m super proud of this one.  I thought it up all on my own and it turned out great on the first try!  The subtle sweet flavor of the clams with the rich white wine sauce over pasta is absolutely delicious.  For those of you who might be a little timid about cooking seafood, this is definitely a good one to try; it’s really easy!

Clams and Linguine with White Wine Sauce

5 lbs, littleneck clams (should be about 50 clams)
¼ lbs pork belly, cubed (you can substitute with bacon, just not the maple kind)
½ bulb of fennel, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lbs dried linguine
1 bottle of dry white wine, room temperature (chardonnay would work great)
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (please don’t use that powdered stuff)
½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper

First, rinse the clams in a colander under cool water.  Check to make sure that they are all firmly closed in their shells.  If you find any that are open or have cracked shells, throw them away.  Once they’re clean, set aside.

In a deep saucepan melt 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Then add the pork fat and cook until it begins to render a bit.  Now is a good time to start your boiling your pasta.  Next add the fennel and sauté until it becomes translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, you do not want it to burn.

Now add the clams, white wine, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and a pinch or crushed red pepper.  Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes until all of the clams have opened their shells.  When the clams are done, remove them with a slotted spoon and add them to the strained, cooked pasta in a large pot and cover to keep warm.

Uncover the white wine mixture and cook on high heat until it reduces by half.  Add ½ cup heavy cream and continue to cook until the mixture again reduces by about half.  Add the flour and whisk briskly for 1 minute.  Pour the mixture and the grated Parmesan over the pasta and clams and mix together thoroughly.

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with a sliced baguette.  Enjoy!