This potato bacon fennel soup recipe is incredibly easy to make and simmered in a cozy garlic-rosemary broth.
Every winter, I seem to find myself adopting a new potato soup recipe. And I have to say that this year’s version has been especially delicious. ♡
It’s made with a triple hit of fennel — an entire fresh bulb (which we’ll thinly slice and sauté into the soup), its delicate fronds (which are lovely as a garnish), plus an extra tablespoon of dried fennel seeds (to build in one more layer of flavor) — whose earthy, mildly-sweet, anise-like notes pair beautifully here with the garlic rosemary broth. Then we’ll also add in in lots of creamy Yukon golds, fry up some crispy bacon to sprinkle on top, and add a generous pinch of red pepper flakes in there to give the broth a bit of a surprise kick. And everything comes together to create a potato soup that’s deeply flavorful, refreshingly not-too-heavy, and totally delicious. We’ve been making it on repeat here lately and can’t get enough of it!
That said, if bacon isn’t your thing or you would prefer to make this recipe vegetarian, it’s just as delicious made with Italian sausage (either traditional or plant-based). The recipe also happens to be naturally gluten-free. And if you’d tend to love creamier potato soups, you’re of course always welcome to add in a splash of cream too.
This is such a cozy and delicious one. So add some fennel to your grocery list, and let’s simmer up a big pot of potato soup together!
Potato Fennel Soup Ingredients
Here are a few brief notes about the ingredients you will need to make this potato fennel soup recipe:
Bacon: I recommend a good-quality thick-cut bacon for this recipe, but any variety of bacon that you love best will work well.
Fennel + fennel seed: We’re going all-in with the fennel here! You’ll need an entire bulb of fresh fennel, which we will thinly slice and sauté into the soup, and whose fronds we will save to use as a garnish. Then we will also sauté some dried fennel seeds in with the fresh fennel as well for extra flavor.
Onion + garlic: These will serve as our other base aromatics to go along with the fennel.
Broth: You’re welcome to use either vegetable or chicken stock as the base for this soup.
Potatoes: I recommend Yukon gold potatoes for this soup, whose creamy texture and flavor are lovely here. I chopped my potatoes fairly chunky, but you’re welcome to dice them however you prefer.
Fresh herbs: We will finely mince lots of fresh rosemary to season the soup. Then I also really recommend adding some chopped fresh chives (or green onions) as a garnish.
Seasonings: I recommend adding a generous amount of crushed red pepper flakes to the soup, which add a , salt and pepper
Here are a few additional recipe variations that you’re welcome to try:
Use sausage: Italian sausage (either traditional or plant-based) would be a delicious alternative to bacon if you would like.
Use different herbs: There are a number of different fresh herbs (such as basil, dill, oregano, sage, tarragon, thyme, etc) that could be delicious in this soup, so feel free to play around with the flavors you love best.
Add cream: Add in 1/2 cup heavy cream if you would like to make this more of a creamy potato soup.
More Potato Soup Recipes
Looking for more easy potato soup recipes to try? Here are a few of our favorites:
1 bulb fennel, very thinly sliced (with fronds reserved for later)
1 white onion, diced
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
chopped fresh chives, for topping
Cook the bacon.Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and sauté, stirring occasionally, until cooked and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a clean bowl, leaving the grease behind.
Sauté the fennel and onion.Immediately add the fennel, onion and fennel seeds to the pot with the bacon grease. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring every minute or two so that the edges can get a bit browned and caramelized. Add the garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring more frequently.
Simmer.Add the broth, potatoes, rosemary, crushed red pepper flakes, and a few twists of black pepper. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to maintain the simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Season.Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper if needed.
Serve.Serve warm, garnished with the cooked bacon, chopped fennel fronds, and lots of chopped fresh chives. Enjoy!