Servings: Makes 4 servings
In a large pot over medium-low heat, warm olive oil and butter. Sauté fennel and onion, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Remove the pot from stove; slowly add Pernod. Return pot to heat; add tomatoes plus 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, 1 to 2 minutes; simmer.
Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan over low heat, toast juniper and fennel seeds. Swirl in the pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside to cool. Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, coarsely grind spices. Add to soup; cook 45 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree soup in the pot until almost smooth, or puree in batches in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper.
To make olive tapenade, smash or pulse garlic in a mortar and pestle or a food processor until smooth. Add anchovies and olives; smash or pulse into a rough paste. Add capers, lemon zest and lemon juice; slowly add olive oil. If using a food processor, pulse only 3 or 4 times. Season with pepper.
Presentation 1: Dressed for a Dinner Party
Fill a white bowl with soup, add a dollop of sour cream and garnish with a fennel frond.
Presentation 2: Hearty Rainy Day Soup
Fill a deep bowl with soup; swirl in two tablespoons olive tapenade. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread.
From the April 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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