Eating out isn’t high on my list of things to do. Why? Eating out is so expensive, and the quality of ingredients can be questionable. I can most likely cook the dish at home, using organic ingredients that I’ve selected, at a fraction of the cost. Another bonus is that I know where my hands have been. Weiss, lead scientist at CleanWell recently claimed that “the average American washes his or her hands twice a day, and one of these times is in the shower”. One word – “disgusting”! I washed my hands 14 times yesterday!
Anyhow, back to this delicious soup. There is a comment I occasionally make at the dinner table, which is “I would gladly pay for this dish”. When I say that, J knows that I really, really love it. This soup is one of those dishes. It’s hearty, easy to make, vegan-friendly, packed full of vegetables, vitamin A and vitamin C.
The soup is creamy, lightly sweet and has an aniseedy undertone. It’s the most wonderful carrot soup that I’ve made, and is the perfect winter warmer!
CREAMY CARROT AND FENNEL SOUP
Serves 4 (or 2 greedy people, like us)
Adapted from “Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book”, by Jennifer Katzinger
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 375 g (13.2 oz, about 1 large bulb) fennel, including stalks, roughly chopped, reserve a few fronds for garnish, if desired
- 600 g (21 oz, about 10 medium) carrots, skin kept on, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds, toasted, crushed and divided into two portions
- 1 litre (4 c and 2 ½ tablespoons) just boiled water
- 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon* vegetable stock paste
- 200 ml (¾ c and 4 teaspoons) coconut milk, reserve 4 teaspoons to garnish, if desired
- 250 ml (1 c and 2 teaspoons) water, or as needed
- salt and pepper to taste
* Better than bouillon is a concentrated paste, which you add water to, to make a stock. If this is not available, use stock cubes or ready-made unsalted stock instead of water in step 3.
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot.
2. Add onion and sauté until lightly browned and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Stir in fennel, carrots, half of the crushed fennel seeds, stock paste and 1 litre (4 c and 2 ½ tablespoons) water.
4. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until all the vegetables are very tender.
5. Puree the mixture in a liquidizer and return to the saucepan. Add coconut milk and remaining water to thin down the soup to the desired consistency. Season with remaining crushed fennel seeds, salt and pepper.
6. Serve with a swirl of coconut milk and garnish with fennel fronds, if desired. Enjoy!