Creamy Fennel, Garlic, Onion & Potato Soup & Spinning My Wheels & Free Diapers

Jul 20, 2011

When was spinning a craze?  I remember my older brother converting to the religion of spin class somewhere in the late 90s…but like many things from that time period, I missed them.  My first child was born in 1999.  Roughly translated, this means my husband and I ARE STILL WATCHING THE WEST WING.  Missed it the first time around.  You have to remember, this was before even The Gap had maternity clothes, before texting, IM-ing, back before the internet boom.  And to come clean about that – we did not pay for diapers the entire first year of Jamie’s life. had launched and had a special wherein one purchased anything – tampons, shoelaces, toothpaste, and received something silly like 25 or 50 dollars free.  We contacted everyone we knew and asked that they buy themselves something small and send us diapers with some of their free dough.

Cue daily diaper delivery. Some friends even sent diaper or baby accessories.

Then the internet companies came to the realization that Oz doesn’t exist, money isn’t made by throwing money around, and slowly closed those wide-open early doors.

But back to spinning.  Yesterday – as in 20111 – was my first spinning class.  I have a friend, Marni, who is a newer friend (our husbands grew up together) but one of friends who feels as though I’ve known her forever.  I’d road trip with her across country tomorrow without pause.  She asked my spin and even though the class did not sound appealing at all, I went.  Sure enough, I spun, rocked out to a bizarre mix of James Bond themes and Phil Collins and blues.

Now if only I had ever seen Charmed, the ER finale, Alias, knew if Y2K mattered, or if Al Gore won.

Guess I’ll go finish The West Wing and eat great soup.

Creamy Fennel, Garlic, Onion & Potato Soup

Fennel is like spinning - it seems unfamiliar or distasteful and then, once you try it, you realize how fun and delicious it can be.

2 heads fennel, washed and sliced (save greens for garnish)

1 large sweet onion, sliced

1 head of garlic, fresh if possible, peeled and trimmed of tough ends

2 tbsp olive oil

big pinch sea salt

4 small(ish) thin-skinned potatoes (red or brown), washed but not peeled, and sliced 1/4" thick

1 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup half & half

Put fennel, onion, and garlic in pot and coat with olive oil. Cook on high until just starting to sear. Turn heat to medium and add salt, and saute for a few minutes. Add potatoes and broth. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and let cook for 30-40 minutes. Uncover and blend with hand-held blender. And half & half, blend again, and season to taste.