Fennel and Orange Peel Soup Recipe

Soupe de fenouil à l’écorce d’orange

Introducing: the latest brainchild of my soup kick. I was on the bus home from work a few days ago (you know, line 67, my food thought lab?), thinking about the soup I would make for dinner. I had half a mind to make some kind of carrot soup, and was toying with the idea of adding candied orange peel to make it more interesting. I had just picked up the latest copy of the French cooking magazine Saveurs and was idly leafing through it, stomach grumbling (inevitable reaction when looking at food pics at 7:30pm), when I spotted the section on fennel.

My love of fennel is somewhat paradoxical. I normally hate anything aniseed and I dislike the smell of raw fennel, but once it’s thoroughly cooked and tender, it takes on a sweet and caramelized flavor I adore. So I just avoid breathing through my nose as I chop, and wait for the heat to work its magic.

Which is why, upon looking at this article, I thought : “Fennel soup! Now, that would be great with orange peel!”. And so, after a quick stop at my local market, I got home and whipped this up.

I was very happy with the result : it is infused with subtle flavors, and the cooked and pureed fennel gives it a lovely texture. The leftovers were even better the next day. You can also soft-boil an egg, peel it and break it open in the bowl of soup, for a lovely blend of tastes and a complete meal.

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Fennel and Orange Peel Soup Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serves 4.

Fennel and Orange Peel Soup Recipe


  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 2 small yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large fennel bulbs, about 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds), cored and chopped, sprigs reserved
  • about 15 strips candied orange peel, 4 strips left whole, the remaining strips diced
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 750 ml (3 cups) vegetable stock
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons orange marmelade
  • Frehsly ground black pepper


  1. Heat a glug of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions for a few minutes, until softened and slightly translucent.
  2. Add the fennel, diced orange peel, coriander seeds, salt, and stock. Cover, bring to a simmer and let cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the fennel is very tender.
  3. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a blender. Add 1 tablespoon marmalade and some black pepper over low heat. Taste and add more marmalade to taste. Serve in bowls, topped with a candied orange strip and a sprig fennel.

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