When Mum came to visit me last summer she became interested in asafetida in a big way. She had given me Spicery as a present, and it rapidly became clear that she really wanted the book for herself (she bought herself a copy when she got back to Australia). The thing to know about asafetida is that it contains the word fetid – it’s a really foul smelling spice that’s often used in Indian cooking. I own a small container of asafetida because Mum bought me some while she was here, but I really haven’t used it.
When Mum returned Australia she spotted an article in The Weekend Australian Magazine that featured soups made with asafetida. I finally got around to making Country Style Anise Scented Cream of Fennel Soup last weekend. It’s pretty good – I really love the smell and taste of fennel, and don’t eat it often enough. The soup freezes well (useful if you’re me and can’t imagine eating the same soup for four meals in a row). My only complaint was that the soup was a little watery. If I were to make it again I’d either increase the amount of potato or decrease the amount of water.