Cut the potatoes into uniform pieces and cover with cold water.
Add salt and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are fork tender.
While the potatoes cook, melt the butter on MEDIUM heat in a skillet til shimmery, let bubble a minute.
Add the fennel, season with salt and pepper, stir well to coat with fat and disperse the salt.
Cook softly for 15-20 minutes, til soft but not brown.
Add the heavy cream and continue cooking until the cream is just beginning to bubble.
Remove the mixture and allow to cool a bit. Carefully transfer the fennel and cream, to a food processor or blender. Process until mixture is smooth.
When the potatoes are done cooking, drain and return to the pot and place over low heat for 2-3 minutes to remove any excess moisture.
Mash them with a masher or a hand mixer (NOT a food processor which creates gum).
Carefully stir in the fennel-cream mixture until well combined.
Season to taste and serve.