This fresh-tasting soup can be prepared with scallions or green garlic (which is harvested before the cloves have matured and has a subtle garlic flavor). A swirl of buttermilk mixed with fresh goat cheese at the end adds a nice tang.
4 bunches scallions—white and tender green parts cut into 1-inch lengths,
green tops thinly sliced
4 leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 cups dry white wine
3 cups water
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 ounces fresh goat cheese (1/4 cup), softened
In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the white and tender green parts of the scallions, along with the leeks, fennel and onion; season with salt and white pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, 15 minutes. Add the wine and boil over high heat until reduced to a few tablespoons, 12 minutes. Add the water and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are very tender and pale green, 15 minutes. Add the scallion green tops and cook just until softened, 2 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender and return it to the pot. Season with salt and white pepper.
In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the goat cheese. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, drizzle with the creamed goat cheese and serve.
The soup and creamed goat cheese can be refrigerated separately overnight. Reheat the soup before serving.