Mar 29, 2013

Creamed Fennel Soup. Vegan.

Fennel is a gorgeous plant, categorized as an herb. It has thick, stout stems, four to five feet or more in height, erect and cylindrical, bright green and so smooth it seems to be polished, with many branched leaves cut into the very finest of wispy segments. I can’t wait to grow some in my new garden! With its warm, sweet and aromatic licorice flavor, it’s no wonder fennel has become widely popular as a culinary centerpiece.

In medieval times, fennel was employed, together with St. John’s Wort and other herbs, as a preventative of witchcraft and other evil influences, being hung over doors on Midsummer’s Eve to ward off evil spirits. It was also eaten as a condiment to the salt fish so much consumed by our forefathers during Lent.

Fennel shoots, fennel water and fennel seed are all mentioned in an ancient record of Spanish agriculture dating back to A.D. 961.

Some of the many health benefits of fennel include relief from anemia, indigestion, flatulence, constipation, colic, diarrhea, respiratory and menstrual disorders. Fennel seeds are very popular in Indian cuisine. Have you ever seen the colorful, sugar-coated fennel seeds at the door of an Indian restaurant? They are traditionally eaten after a meal to aid in digestion.

This soup has wonderfully subtle flavors, and a refreshing and warming quality at the same time. I’ve added zucchini and fresh parsley to the recipe which adds some beautiful specks of green in the final dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 extra large fennel bulb or 2 medium sized bulbs
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 medium sized zucchini
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dried summer savory
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 TBS ground fennel seed
  • 1 tsp Coconut Aminos or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup loosely-packed, roughly-cut fresh parsley (stems included)

Directions:

  1. Remove the bulb from the fennel plant and chop into 1-2” pieces.
  2. Add the fennel, onion, dried spices and liquid aminos to a soup pot with the vegetable stock.
  3. Simmer until veggies are tender.
  4. Chop the zucchini into large pieces and set aside.
  5. When the soup veggies are tender, place the cashews into a high-powered blender and add just enough of the soup broth to cover.
  6. Blend until smooth.
  7. Add the rest of the soup and blend until smooth.
  8. Return half of the soup to the pot.
  9. Add the zucchini and the parsley to the remaining soup in the blender and blend until smooth. 
  10. Add back to the pot and stir well to combine. DO NOT continue cooking. You’re done. The zucchini and the parsley will add a beautiful green color to the dish. If it cooks more it will not be as vibrant.
  11. Garnsih with whole-grain croutons, sprigs of the feathery fennel leaves and/or ground fennel seeds.

Serves 2-3. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

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