As the weather changes so will the vegetables available at our local farmers markets, I am looking forward to seeing what is in season this spring. I have thoroughly enjoyed the winter vegetables this year, lots of brocoli, beans, snowpeas and silverbeet as well as one of my all time favourtie vegetables, fennel. The wonderful farmer who sells it at the Mullumbimby farmers market told me we only have a few weeks left of it, so I have been enjoying fennel in everything.
In salads it is a refreshing delight and goes so well with oranges and olives. Steamed or oven baked fennel is my favourite way of eating it and when feeling naughty I melt Parmesan on it. Its high content of vitamin C makes it a great vegetable to pair up with iron rich veggies, like kale and silverbeet. A fennel and silverbeet bake with quinoa sounds absolutely divine to me, however it is a very humble soup recipe I want to share with you this time. I only recently discovered the subtle flavours of fennel soup. In the past I have added fennel to other vegetable soups which results in a very wholesome and hearty flavour but to make it into its own soup was a newbie for me and will definitely find itself in my soup bowl on a regular basis next year.
Even though fennel has 1.2 g of protein per 100g it is not a big source of protein so you will need to make something else with protein to go along with the soup to get a good intake of protein. I put some yoghurt in my soup which helped and a side salad with sprouted mung beans and a boiled egg.
1 large bulb fennel
1 clove garlic (optional)
splash of olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp organic herb salt gluten free
freshly ground pepper (to your liking)
Peel the potatoes and wash the fennel, roughly chop them. Wash the leek well and slice finely, mince the garlic and pop into a saucepan with the oil. Stir for a few minutes until the leek slightly browns, add the potato and fennel and then add the salt, herb salt, pepper and enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are completely cooked. Using a hand held stick blender, process the soup until smooth.