Friday, 22 March 2013

Creamy Cauliflower and Roasted Fennel Soup


This is probably my favorite of the soups that I have made. It is so simple and filled with a variety of delicious, white vegetables. If you blend it enough it should be super smooth and the fennel should add a substantial yet soft component. 

When I was a kid, my favorite of all of the Campbells cream soups was the cream of celery. I liked the texture and the flavour of the soft celery in the creamy broth. This soup reminds me of that, actually this soup was inspired by Campbell's cream of celery as disappointing as that may sound.


A bonus to this soup is that there is no dairy in it, but it is still super creamy. It is also completely vegan; something I am still trying (but struggling) to be. I have been eating out a lot, and in an attempt to not be annoying, I have been complacent in eating things that likely contain some form of dairy or eggs. My best and most cowardly strategy may have to be to stop eating out and find more delicious vegan things to make at home, which also means finding more time to cook.

As I write this, I am at work, at 7 pm, waiting for an experiment I am running to complete so I can clean up and go home. This working late pattern has me drawing up huge lists of beautiful looking recipes but leaves me with little time to actually test any of them out. 


My gramma said something interesting to me while I was visiting her this past weekend in Winnipeg. She expressed that the whole business of eating is just a nuisance; that we would have a whole lot more time on our hands if someone would just invent a pill that we could take which would provide us everything we need to survive.

It frightens me a little to think how much extra time I would have to waste if I did not have to eat. No more looking at recipes, or planning meals, or writing blog posts, or shopping for groceries, or going out for dinner - never mind the actual cooking and eating part of it all. I imagine we would all go crazy if we did not have cooking and eating to think about - or maybe we would just all be a whole lot better at doing a lot more things. Until then, I will keep at wasting my time doing the aforementioned food-related activities whenever I can.


Creamy Cauliflower and Roasted Fennel Soup


Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 cups of water (or more)
  • 2 bouillon cubes (no MSG)
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and chopped
  • Reserved, chopped fennel fronds (the part that looks like dill) to garnish
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Sweetener (agave or honey), to taste (~ 2-3 tsp) 

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Heat 1tbsp of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. 
  3. Add chopped leek, parsnip and garlic.
  4. Sautee for 8 - 10 minutes
  5. Add cauliflower, water and bouillon cubes. The water should just cover the vegetables, so adjust water volume as required.
  6. Bring soup to a simmer and cook for about 20 - 30 minutes - until cauliflower is tender.
  7. Meanwhile, toss the chopped fennel in 1 tbsp olive oil and season with ground sea salt.
  8. Spread the fennel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Roast the fennel for 10 minutes, toss, then continue to roast another 10 minutes until just soft but not brown (slightly browned is okay).
  10. Working in batches, puree the soup (without fennel) in a blender until smooth.
  11. Return the soup to a pot.
  12. Stir in roasted fennel and season the soup with sea salt and sweetener.
  13. Serve the soup warm and garnish with chopped fennel fronds. 

2 comments:

  1. You know, I don't think I've ever had fennel in soup form, but it sounds amazing! I love the combination with creamy cauliflower and parsnips. :)

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  2. Just went to the Farmers Market this weekend so I can make this soup! Thanks!

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