Fennel Potato Soup with Turnip Greens

Hey you guys! I’m an aunt! My sister Beth had a beautiful baby girl last Thursday night. Meet Ella:

Thanks to Ella’s arrival, we ended up eating out for dinner on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights with family.  I’m not complaining– we finally got to show off Blue Star Cafeteria to my parents– but I do have a lot of leftover produce in my fridge today. Four meals’ worth, to be exact! Plus, I feel a little bloated.

In order to knock out a lot of veggies and help my poor stomach, I turned to this Potato-Fennel soup recipe from the Mayo Clinic Foundation for Medical Education and Research. I knew the potatoes would give the soup a mild flavor, and fennel is supposed to be great for digestion.

I adapted the Mayo Clinic’s recipe by incorporating turnip greens and radish tops into the soup, and by increasing the liquid in the recipe accordingly.  And since I had just one half-pound bulb of fennel on hand, that’s all we used. (I couldn’t taste it a bit in the final dish.) I happened to have radish tops and turnip greens in my fridge today, but any cruciferous dark green would work well here.  However, I would avoid would be mustard greens; their spiciness would probably overpower the delicate balance of flavors in this soup.

All weekend I’ve been imagining what kinds of food Ella will enjoy as she gets older.  Hopefully some day I can make her a big steamy bowl of this fennel soup and tell her all about the weekend that we met!

Fennel Potato Soup with Turnip Greens (4 large servings)
adapted from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cups chopped dark greens, such as turnip, arugula, radish, spinach, or kale
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
Sour cream for garnish
Fennel fronds for garnish

Chop the onion and fennel bulb*. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and fennel. Saute until the onion is translucent and the fennel begins to soften, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, peel and chop potatoes and wash and chop greens.  Add potatoes and greens to the pot, along with the broth and milk.  Bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Taste and season accordingly. Ladle into bowls, garnish with fennel fronds, sour cream, and additional pepper.

*If you’re new to fennel (anise), like me, it can be tricky to know how to cut the bulb open. Here’s a great video with instructions:

Click here for a printable copy of this recipe.

This post is sponsored by Greenling Organic Delivery and a modified version appears on their blog, Eating Out of the Local Box.

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9 responses to “Fennel Potato Soup with Turnip Greens

  1. I’m scared sometimes to try something new and fennel is a new to me. Thanks for the easy tips.

  2. Congratulations, she’s a little beauty!

    I also have yet to venture into the wide and (supposedly) wonderful world of fennel. I’m wary because I’m not a big fan of that licorice flavor, but I need to take the plunge one day (I’m always telling people to try new things and they don’t have to eat it ever again afterwards as long as they know for a fact that they do not like something). This soup sounds like a good way to ease into fennel, big flavors are mellowed out so nicely in potato soups.

    • Liz, thanks for the congrats! We are in love 🙂 As for the fennel, I feel a little guilty even including it in the title of this recipe; the flavor is completely concealed by the bright greens and mellow potato. I think it actually functions (and tastes) a lot like celery here: it’s just some nice background noise.

  3. I mad this tonight with a few adjustments. I didn’t have any milk, and I added some goat cheese and turnips. Tasty!

  4. Awesome! I think the goat cheese is a brilliant substitution. Brightens it right up.

    Do you have any other ideas for turnips? They confound me.

  5. I have roasted and mashed them, but that is about all. Let me know if you come up with something else for them. Roasting was quite tasty; it sweetened them a bit.

    And I have to thank you for allowing me to use up the fennel I got in my box. I was so worried it was going to rot away since I hate the flavor. The soup masked the licorice flavor.

  6. The soup looks delish- perfect for this time of year! And congrats on your beautiful little niece!

  7. Congratulations on becoming an aunt! I think it’s an awesome thing and I’m not even technically blood-related aunt to my “niece” and “nephew”, but I think it still counts since I’m marrying their real uncle. 🙂 You’ll have some great times with the little one! She’s adorable!

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