FENNEL AND CELERY ROOT BISQUE WITH AN INFUSED SMOKY ORANGE OIL
PREP: 20 minutes (plus simmering and infusing time)
YIELD: 2 quarts
¼ cup oil
1 Yellow onion (small), chopped
1 Leek (small), white part only, chopped
2 Celery stalks, chopped (without leaves)
1 Fennel bulb (large), chopped
1 Celery root (small), peeled and chopped
1 ½ tsp. Salt
1-quart Vegetable stock*
1 Cinnamon stick
¼ tsp. Nutmeg (ground)
1-pound package Silken tofu (or 1 cup raw tahini if following Whole30 diet)
Smoky orange oil, to taste (see below)
SMOKY ORANGE OIL INGREDIENTS:
2 cup oil (avocado or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zest from one large orange (about 1 Tbsp.)
1 tsp. Smoked paprika
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SOUP:
Add oil, chopped onion, leek, celery, fennel, and salt to a medium-sized stock pot. Sweat until the vegetables are translucent but not browned.
Add vegetable stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat, add cinnamon stick and simmer until the vegetables are very soft. Remove the cinnamon stick. Add the nutmeg.
Allow the soup to cool first and then transfer to a Vitamix (or high-speed blender) and add the silken tofu (or tahini). Blend on high speed until completely smooth, with a velvety texture.
Correct for seasoning and serve with a drizzle of orange oil.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ORANGE OIL:
Infuse the oil with the orange zest and smoked paprika for at least one hour. Strain through a cheesecloth and store in an airtight glass container. Will keep up to one week.
*To make a quick and flavorful vegetable broth: Wipe two ounces of kombu with a moist cloth and soak in two quarts of cold water for at least 30 minutes. Coarsely chop and reserve. In a large saucepan, slowly bring the liquid to a bare simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes but do not allow to boil. Remove the kombu and add 2 pints of mushrooms, a chopped onion and a pinch of dried thyme to the broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until the onion is very soft (about 20 minutes). Add the juice of one lemon and strain.