Makes 6 servings. Difficulty
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter 1 shallot, minced 1 large fennel bulb, chopped 2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, sliced 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced 3 cups vegetable stock 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds Dash of hot red pepper flakes Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, fennel bulb, and leeks and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the potatoes, vegetable broth, fennel seeds and dash of hot red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place all but 1/4 cup of soup in a blender and process until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pan and stir to combine. Return the soup to a simmer; simmer for 5 minutes.
Add lemon juice and again adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if necessary. Garnish with fennel fronds if desired.