Recipe: Potato, Leek and Fennel Soup

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion

4 cups sliced leek, white part only


2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

1/2 pound fennel, fronds removed and reserved, bulb sliced

3 tablespoons butter or oil

4 cups chicken stock


Freshly ground white pepper

1 cup half and half

Saute onion, leek, potatoes and fennel bulb slices in butter over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes. Add stock and bring to boil. Simmer 20 minutes. Puree potato-leek mixture in blender, or pass through food mill until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add half and half.

Return to heat and heat through. Serve in heated soup plates, garnished with reserved fennel fronds, if desired, or serve chilled. Makes 6 servings.