Fennel, leek & pea soup with tarragon / Serves 6
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 2 sticks celery, sliced
- 2 bulbs fennel
- A few sprigs of tarragon (chopped), plus extra to serve
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 400g cooked white beans
- 1.5 litre vegetable stock
- 300g frozen peas
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Prepare the fennel by slicing and discarding the thick root and tough outer layer. Remove the green stalks and leafy fronds. Finely slice the remaining fennel.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the leek, celery and fennel and sweat for around 10 minutes until sweetly translucent. Add the tarragon and fennel seeds to the pan and sizzle for a couple of minutes to release the flavour.
Add white beans (I used the jar variety), along with the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 20 minutes (until the fennel is tender), then add the peas and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin seeds by heating 1 tbsp oil in a small pan and adding the pumpkin seeds, tossing for a few minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry out on kitchen towel.
When the soup is ready, blitz with a hand blender until smooth. Season to taste, then serve topped with tarragon leaves and extra ground black pepper.