Ilene Kramer serving her fennel and carrot soup at her family's annual holiday party.
1 fennel, thinly sliced 2 large carrots, thinly sliced 1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 Yukon gold potato, sliced 4 tablespoons butter Fresh thyme 1 bay leaf 4 cups vegetable broth A dollop of maple syrup A dollop of crème fraiche Chestnuts, for serving
Sauté the fennel, carrots, onion and potato in the butter. Add some fresh thyme and 1 bay leaf. Cover and simmer on medium low for 45 minutes to an hour. Add the vegetable broth and bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer 8-10 mins. Let the soup cool, then remove the herbs and purée it in a blender. Mix in a pinch of maple syrup and creme fraiche to taste when serving and sprinkle with chestnuts.