I made this delicate, slightly sweet soup on a cool summer night. But I think it would also be perfect for an autumn meal as well. If you want to make this soup a bit more hearty, simply add in a peeled and cubed potato and saute along with the fennel, leeks and apples. Though, the reason why I love this soup is because it is low carb and extremely tasty.
If you are not familiar with fennel, it is a very distinct aromatic herb. When raw, the taste is strong and that like licorice or anise. When cooked, it becomes much more mild and delicate and loses most of the pungent licorice flavor. It is so interesting how your taste buds develop over the years. As a child, I used to hate the taste of licorice and licorice candy. Though, now developing certain tastes and experiencing certain digetives, i have grown to love that unique anise flavor,
I love topping this soup off with a tasty balsamic reduction and a bright and crunchy apple and walnut salad. The contrast in textures and tastes really mesh together!
Vegan Fennel, Leek and Apple Soup
Ingredients for the soup (yields 4-6 servings)
4 c vegetable broth
1 fennel bulb chopped (save fennel fronds for garnish)
3 leeks, whitish part chopped (hint: you can save the green part to make a vegetable broth)
1 large apple chopped
2 garlic clove, minced
3 sprigs thyme, stem removed
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger minced
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 lemon juiced
2 tbsp evoo, separated
for the garnish:
1 apple sliced into small cubes
2-3 tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
balsamic reduction (optional)
Preheat oven 350. In a bowl, toss the chopped fennel bulb, leeks, and apple with evoo until they are evenly coated. Place on baking sheet and roast bake for roughly 30-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Once they are done roasting. Take out of oven and set aside. In a large pot, heat evoo on med-high and saute ginger, garlic and thyme for roughly 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the baked fennel, leeks and apples and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add in vegetable broth, lemon juice and turmeric. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Once simmered, transfer to your preferred blender (I love my Ninja) and puree until smooth. Transfer back to pot, return to your desired temp. When ready to serve, ladle soup into a bowl, top with small pieces of apples and walnuts, drizzle on balsamic reduction and dust with frond.