Winter weather is officially here, and there’s no hiding from the snowstorms, weather delays, or shoveling. With a chill in the air, there’s no better way to stay warm than with a hot bowl of bisque. Try this Fennel Asiago Bisque recipe that is sure to do the trick!
Cut off the green tops off the leeks and discard. Wash the leeks well as they tend to have sand between the layers of the vegetable. Chop the white part of the leeks into 1/2-inch pieces. You should have about 1 1/2 cups.
Remove the feathery tops of the fennel bulb; reserve 4 sprigs for garnish, and discard the rest. Chop the white bulb into 1/2-inch pieces. There will be about 6 cups.
Melt the butter in a large, heavy soup pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables just begin to color. Add the white wine and cook until the wine reduces by one-half (for about 5 minutes). Add the chicken broth and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the broth reduces by one-half (for about 20 minutes). Remove the soup from the heat and let cool slightly.
When cooled, pour the soup into a blender and puree. Depending on the size of the blender container, this may need to be done in batches. Alternatively, puree using a hand-held immersion blender.
Pour the soup into a clean pan, and place over low heat. Add the cream, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. In the meantime, roughly chop the bacon. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cheese.
To serve, divide the soup among four flat soup bowls. Garnish with the bacon and a sprig of the reserved fennel top. Serve hot.