Try this carrot and fennel soup made in the German style for a change of pace. It's a vegan soup thickened with puréed carrots and fennel that is naturally low in fat and high in fiber. Despite sounding healthy, don't count this soup out, it tastes great and is a fun treat. Besides, it can be made in about 30 minutes. Try it for lunch with a half-sandwich or as the first course for a chi-chi party.
The German influence is represented in the sliced fennel bulb and fennel seed (fenchel in German). The coriander (known as cilantro to North Americans) is a stretch as is the optional jalapeño (although they are both becoming increasingly popular and more widely used in German cooking) garnish on top, but they make a great contrast to the slightly sweet soup.
- 2 cups broth (vegetable, homemade or store-bought)
- 2 cups carrots (about 4 sticks, peeled and sliced)
- 1/4 cup fennel (about 1/4 of a bulb, sliced, or celery if you do not have fennel)
- 1/4 cup onion (about 1/2 small onion, chopped)
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander (whole)
- 1 dash ginger (ground, 1/8 teaspoon or less)
- Ground pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Optional: 2 teaspoons agave nectar or another sweetener to taste
- 1/2 fresh jalapeno (chopped finely)
- Pour 2 cups vegetable broth into a 4-quart saucepan. Slice 4 peeled carrots and 1/4 of a fennel bulb evenly (I use a mini food-processor) and add to broth along with 1/4 cup chopped onion.
- Grind 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed and 1/4 teaspoon whole coriander with a mortar and pestle or in an old coffee grinder reserved for spices. You also can crush them with the back of a knife if you are in a pinch.
- Add the ground fennel seed and coriander to the broth, and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
- Pour the contents of the saucepan into a blender or food processor, cover the lid with a clean, dry kitchen towel (danger -- very hot!) and blend on high for 30 seconds or until smooth. Return contents to saucepan. Heat gently and adjust flavorings with freshly ground pepper, salt and agave nectar (or sugar).
- Serve in bowls with fresh finely chopped jalapeños on top.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||27 g|
|Saturated Fat||5 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||13 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g|