delicious - - ENTERTAINING. -

SERVES 6 AS A STARTER 6 cups (1.5L) veg­etable stock 2 tbs ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, plus ex­tra to serve 1 onion, finely chopped 1 fen­nel seed 2 gar­lic cloves, chopped 1kg (about 2) broc­coli, cut into flo­rets 1/2 cup (80g) sun­flower seeds, plus ex­tra toasted to serve Flow­er­ing fen­nel fronds (op­tional-sub­sti­tute dill), to serve Place the stock in a saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Cover and set aside.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring reg­u­larly, for 4 min­utes or un­til soft­ened. Add fen­nel and gar­lic, and cook, stirring reg­u­larly, for 2 min­utes un­til fra­grant.

Add broc­coli and hot stock to the onion mix­ture, in­crease heat to high and bring to the boil. Re­duce heat to low and sim­mer, stirring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 10 min­utes or un­til broc­coli is ten­der but still green. Stir through sun­flower seeds and cook for 5 min­utes or un­til seeds are slightly soft­ened. Set aside to cool.

In batches, trans­fer to a blender and whiz un­til com­pletely smooth. Trans­fer the soup to a large bowl, cover and chill un­til com­pletely cooled. La­dle cold soup into bowls. Scat­ter with flow­er­ing fen­nel fronds, if us­ing, and ex­tra sun­flower seeds. Driz­zle with ex­tra oil to serve.

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