Brown Buttered Pear Soup with Fennel Oil and Pomegranates
1 stick unsalted butter, divided
4 unpeeled Comice or D'Anjou pears, cored and sliced
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
2 cups vegetable stock
Fennel oil (recipe below)
4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter, allowing it to bubble and foam. When brown bits form in the butter, add the pears and sliced onion. Reduce heat, cover pan and sweat the onions and pears until semi soft.
2. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a slight boil. Cook until pears and onions are very soft.
3. Transfer to a blender and carefully start to puree the mixture. With the blender running, add the remaining 6 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until incorporated.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with fennel oil, garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/4 bunch Italian parsley
Combine ingredients in a blender and puree. Let rest for 20 minutes, then strain through a coffee filter.
-- David Hurt, chef de cuisine, Paula LeDuc Fine Catering