Fall comes within a matter of days in New York. One week, you’ll be wondering why it’s so warm and balmy in mid-October–and then suddenly one day, you will step outside the front door and be greeted by brisk, blue-gray air (and have to turn back to put some more clothes on). To kick off soup season, I wanted to make good use of the season’s first fennel that we picked up from the farmer’s market. Roasting fennel in olive oil brings out the natural sugars and turns the texture deliciously hearty. Fennel is also packed with nutrients, especially potassium, calcium, and B vitamins. Lightly spiced with warming coriander and nutmeg, this soup is creamy and comforting yet light. Feel free to add 1/2 cup more vegetable stock if you prefer your soup to be more brothy.
Creamy Roasted Fennel Soup
1 large head of fennel, sliced
1 medium to large potato, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cups vegetable stock
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
2.5 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
2. Toss fennel and onion with about 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until edges are browned and caramelized.
3. Meanwhile, add 1/2 tbsp oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, fennel seeds, coriander, nutmeg, salt, and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they start to stick slightly. Add vegetable stock, cover and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 25 minutes. Take off the heat.
4. Once the fennel and onion are roasted, add some of it to a blender. Add the potato/stock mixture to the blender, working in batches. Blend until everything is creamy. Salt to taste. Garnish with fennel fronds or fresh cilantro leaves.
More soups: Vegan Coconut Carrot Soup
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling