Chilled Fennel-Grapefruit Velouté with Lemon Olive Oil

At Sola restaurant in Paris, chef Hiroki Yoshitake cleverly uses grapefruit oil to boost the flavor in his chilled four-ingredient soup. Lemon olive oil is a terrific alternative, and easier to find in the US. The citrus oil is used in two different ways: for sautéing fennel before pureeing it with grapefruit juice, and for garnishing the soup before serving.


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  • Active:
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  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons lemon olive oil (see Note), plus more for garnish
  • One 1-pound fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced, plus chopped fennel fronds, for garnish
  • Salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice, strained
  • Pinch of sugar

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of lemon olive oil. Add the sliced fennel and a pinch of salt, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring a few times, until the fennel is softened, about 10 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the fennel is very tender, about 20 minutes.

  2. Working in batches, puree the fennel soup in a blender until smooth. Transfer the soup to a medium bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

  3. Stir the grapefruit juice into the fennel soup. Add the sugar to the soup and season with salt. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with a little lemon olive oil and chopped fennel fronds and serve.

Make Ahead

The fennel-grapefruit soup can be refrigerated overnight.


Olive oil pressed or infused with lemon is available at most supermarkets and specialty food stores.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published October 2011

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