Caramelized Fennel Soup with Fava Bean and Orange Relish | CUESA

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Caramelized Fennel Soup with Fava Bean and Orange Relish


Mark Richardson, Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on April 7, 2012.

Serves 4


4 ounces olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 small to medium onion, cleaned and cut into julienne
4 bulbs fennel, cleaned and cut into julienne; retain and chop the fronds for garnish
1 large clove of garlic, sliced
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 cups milk
1 cup half-and-half
1 bunch fresh thyme, picked and minced
Salt and pepper
2 seedless oranges, sectioned and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon minced cilantro
1 tablespoon minced shallot
¼ cup fresh fava beans, blanched and skins removed
1 tablespoon honey


1.    In a sauce pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat; add the butter and let it start to brown.  Add the onion and fennel and cook until caramelized, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and deglaze with the orange juice. Add the milk and half-and-half, and let simmer for 15 minutes. 

2.    Add the thyme and purée in small batches in a tabletop blender or with a hand-held blender until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Return to the stove to keep warm.

3.    Mix all of the relish ingredients together in a bowl.

4.    To serve, ladle the hot soup into a bowl and top with the desired amount of relish, about 1 tablespoon per serving. Garnish with a sprinkle of the chopped fennel frond.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »