- 2 medium fennel bulbs with fronds
- 1 pound carrots, quartered lengthwise
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 garlic clove
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Equipment: an electric coffee/spice grinder
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lowest position.
Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1 tablespoon and reserve. Discard stalks and remaining fronds. Slice bulbs 1/4 inch thick and toss with carrots, onion, garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread in a 4-sided sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Blend half of vegetables in a blender with broth until very smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Repeat with remaining vegetables and water. Thin to desired consistency with extra water and simmer 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, finely grind fennel seeds in grinder and stir into remaining 2 tablespoons oil. 3Serve soup drizzled with fennel oil and sprinkled with reserved fronds.
Cooks’ notes: Soup can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Fennel oil can be made 2 days ahead and kept at room temperature.