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Sweet Pea & Fennel Soup*

Serves 10

1 C Florence fennel bulb, sliced
1/2 C sliced onions
1 tsp butter or olive oil
1 qt white stock or water
2 C shelled peas (fresh or frozen)
Pinch salt
Pinch white pepper
1 tsp mint leaves
1 C croutons

Use a heavy-bottomed stock pot or steam-jacketed kettle. Sweat the fennel and onion in butter or olive oil until tender. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the peas and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Purée the soup in a high-speed blender. Pass through a medium-fine strainer into a bowl. Set on crushed ice to cool, stirring occasionally, if the soup will not be served immediately. To serve, reheat the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish each serving with mint.

Serve with croutons.

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