BC's Winter Vegetable Soup with Maple Creme Fraiche
3 tablespoons olive oil (+ extra for serving)
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
6 carrots, peeled, chopped
½ a butternut squash, cubed
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
¼ cup crème fraîche or yoghurt
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add fennel, onion, carrots, squash, thyme, and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, reducing heat if needed, until vegetables are soft and have released their moisture, 45–60 minutes. Vegetables should not be browned.
Add broth, bring to a boil, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly. Remove herbs. Using an immersion blender, purée until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix crème fraîche and maple syrup together in a small bowl. Top with maple crème fraîche and chives. Drizzle with good quality olive oil and serve.