8 cups water
3/4 cup garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced white onion
1/3 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup sliced fennel
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 bay leaf
5 cups chicken stock
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 slice coarse country-style bread, preferably day old, cut up
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked white pepper
In a large saucepan, combine the water and garlic cloves and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the garlic is translucent, about 5 minutes. Drain and reserve the garlic.
Return the saucepan to medium heat and add the olive oil. Heat for 30 seconds, then add the onion, celery and fennel and sauté until just tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic cloves, reduce the heat slightly and sauté, stirring frequently, for another 2 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Add the white wine and cook until reduced by half.
Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, chicken stock, cream, bread, salt and pepper. Stir well, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced by one-fourth and creamy white, about 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
Working in two batches, transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan.
Reheat over medium heat. Divide evenly among warmed individual bowls and serve immediately.
Active Time: 55 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Yield: 6 Servings