July 25, 2017

Garlic Fennel Soup

Fennel sits proudly atop the corpses of its vanquished foes
I don't want to paint with too broad of a brush here, but anybody who doesn't like garlic is a filthy communist who deserves, at the very least, to be launched off of a tall cliff via trebuchet. Garlic is one of the few things that makes life worth the hassle of putting on pants in the morning. If they made a cologne that smelled like sautéing onions and garlic, I would buy a lifetime supply. Not only because that's pretty much the best smell imaginable, but also because it would be the perfect litmus test for everybody I meet to determine whether I can be friends with them or I need to break out my trebuchet (or both). The point is that garlic makes everything better. And when you mix it with fennel and onions there's pretty much no point in trying to get anything else accomplished, because your day will be filled up with eating that mess, and then with talking about it to anybody who'll listen.

Ingredients:

3 Fennel Bulbs 
2 Standard-Issue Onions
10-12 Cups Vegetable Stock (Pro-tip: For extra deliciousness, take the stalks off the top of your fennel, and toss them in with your vegetable stock when you make it. Extra Pro-tip: Make you own vegetable stock)
5 Cloves of Garlic
5 Yukon Gold Potatoes (You want a potato that's gonna hold together while cooked, and not fall apart like the second act of a student film. If you like red potatoes, that's fine. If you like russet potatoes, get used to disappointment. Delicious delicious disappointment.
Olive Oil
Salt

The first thing you're gonna need to do is choppity-chop your onion and fennel into little, easily manageable bits. Nobody has ever actually told me that it's a good idea to peel off the outer layer of fennel, like I do with onions, but nobody ever actually told me to go to Ireland, and that worked out pretty well. I'm pretty sure that applies here too. That's how logic works. Anyway, once your onions and fennel are chopped, sauté them in some oil, in a pot over medium-high heat along with a standard-issue pinch of salt. Let that awesomeness cook together for about 5 minutes, when it starts smelling ridiculously good. Then peel and mince your garlic until your hands, cutting board, kitchen, and school districts all smell sufficiently garlicky. Throw it in with your onions and fennel and cook that sucker until it starts to smell so good that you seriously contemplate forgetting this soup altogether, and just shoving your head into that burning-hot pile of delicious face first. About one minute.

Pistachios haphazardly strewn about to distract from the
featureless surface of this bowl of insane flavor.
Slice your potatoes and add them into the party just to get all of the flavors acquainted with each other, then drown them, along with everybody else still in the pot, in a raging torrent of vegetable stock. Bring your stormy sea of fledgling soup to a boil and then slam a lid on it to keep anybody from escaping. Turn the heat down to low and let it cook for about 25 minutes, when the potatoes are soft and cooked through, but still have some shape to them. And now you have insanely delicious soup! That's also....very very beige. Of all the food I've ever made, it's probably the most beige. And I once made apple sauce. If you're cool with this, eat and enjoy. If eating monochromatic food tears at your soul because you can't dissociate external beauty with intrinsic value, the chop up something pretty to garnish the top. Like chives, or pistachios, or a rare painting you stole from a rich collector years ago, and haven't found fount a use for that lives up to its value and beauty until now. You know, whatever you have lying around.