Salmon, Leek and Fennel Chowder with Sizzled Leeks
3 bulbs of fennel with stalks and greens
4 leeks, white and 1-inch of the green, coarsely chopped
3 1 /2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups bottled clam juice
2 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces salmon fillet, skin and bone removed, 1 /2-inch pieces
1 leek, white and 1" green, cut into 1 1/2" long julienne
1 cup canola oil
Remove the green fennel tops. Chop coarsely and reserve. Cut the ends off the fennel and remove any outside leaves that are damaged. Chop the fennel coarsely. Wash the chopped leeks and drain well.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium low heat. Add the fennel and leeks and sauté until the leeks are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the clam juice and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the fennel is soft, 20 minutes.
Twenty minutes before serving, heat the canola oil in a frying pan over high heat until rippling. Add the julienne leeks and cook stirring until golden. Drain on paper towels.
In batches, puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Add the cream and season with salt and pepper. Add the salmon and simmer 2 to 3 minutes.
To serve the soup, warm over medium heat. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each bowl with a mound of leeks. Serve immediately.