Potato Fennel Soup with Seared Sea Scallops

30 minutesServes 8
Potato Fennel Soup with Seared Sea Scallops

Ingredients

Soup

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 medium leeks (white and tender green parts), chopped (about 2 c)
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped (about 1 ½ c)
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning, plus more to taste
  • 1 ½ lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 5 c)
  • 4 c chicken or light colored vegetable stock
  • 1 c crème fraiche or sour cream
  • Mis Raices Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Scallops

  • 16 lg dry-pack sea scallops, cleaned
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ c flour
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
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Directions

For the soup: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in leeks, fennel and Old Bay, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Do not let mixture brown.

Stir in potatoes and pour in stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and let simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.

Puree soup in a blender, working in batches to avoid filling blender more than half-full, and return to pan. Alternatively, puree soup directly in pot with an immersion blender.

Stir in crème fraiche or sour cream. Season with Old Bay. Keep warm over low heat while preparing scallops. This soup tastes best when served barely warm.

For the scallops: Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Season both sides with Old Bay and pepper, then dust with flour. Set them aside in a single layer on a plate to dry while pan heats. In a large nonstick skillet or well-seasoned cast iron skillet, melt oil and butter over medium high heat. When foaming subsides, add scallops to skillet, leaving about 1-inch space between them so they brown instead of steam; work in batches if necessary. Cook scallops until edges are well browned, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, spoon soup into warmed soup plates or shallow bowls.

Turn scallops over with tongs and cook just until browned on the bottom and opaque in center, about 2 minutes more, then place on top of soup.

Drizzle with oil and serve immediately.