CREAMED SEA URCHIN SOUP with Braised Fennel

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CREAMED SEA URCHIN SOUP with Braised Fennel

[Serving four]

4 sea urchins, (yielding approximately 20 sacs of roe)

2 bulbs of fennel, trimmed and finely small diced, (save the tops for garnish)

1 onion, peeled and finely diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 table spoons butter

¼ cup Pernod

¼ cup dry white wine

½ liter fish stock 

½ liter heavy cream

Salt and pepper

2 table spoon olive oil

These dangerous looking spiked shells encase plump, meaty sacs of orange roe that when combined with the fennel and cream make a delicious soup.

For the soup: remove the sea urchin roe and rinse it gently in water. In a soup pot gently cook the onions, garlic and half of the fennel with 2 tablespoons butter. Cook until they are soft, then deglaze the pot with the Pernod and reduce by half. Add the wine and reduce by half. Next add the fish stock and heavy cream and reduce by half. Using a hand blender, puree the soup to a smooth consistency. Pass through a chinois into another soup pot. Add half of the raw sea urchin roe to the soup and puree again. Season with salt and pepper. Froth the soup again before serving.

Place the diced fennel and olive oil in a small pot on low heat. Slowly cook the fennel until a golden color is achieved. Season with salt and pepper.

Place a mound of warm braised fennel in the middle of a soup bowl. Next, pour the freshly frothed sea urchin soup around the fennel. Place the remaining sea urchin on top of the fennel and garnish with the fennel fronds.

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