Fennel Soup Winter Greens and Smoked Streaky Bacon

This warming winter soup has a rich and satisfying flavour for those cold winter nights

Serves 4 people   Prep 20 minutes   Cook 75 minutes


150g butter

2 large leeks, washed and sliced

1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

3 fennel bulbs, coarsely chopped

900g potatoes, roughly chopped

1.2 litres hot chicken stock

150ml whipping cream

3-4 cabbage leaves

175g Denhay dry cured smoked streaky bacon, diced

Handful of chopped thyme leaves


Melt 100g of the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft. Add the fennel seeds and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chopped fennel and the potatoes.

Cover the vegetables with a sheet of wet baking paper and put a lid on the pan. Cook gently for 10 – 12 minutes, until the leeks are soft. Remove and discard the paper. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Leave the soup to cool slightly and then pour half into a food processor to blend until smooth. Press through a sieve into the remaining soup in the pan. Stir in the cream and season to taste. Gently reheat the soup but make sure it doesn’t come to a boil.

Meanwhile, make the winter greens and bacon. Tear the cabbage leaves roughly, discarding any hard stalks, and blanch in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes. Refresh under sold running water and drain.

Melt the remaining 50g butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the Denhay bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden. Add the cabbage and thyme and stir-fry for 5 minutes until the cabbage is tender. Season well.

Ladle the soup into deep bowls and top with the cabbage and bacon mix. Simply delicious.



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