Healthy Recipe Thursday! Creamy Fennel & Leek Soup

By Marsha Hudnall on 12/31/2009
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Fennel Leek Soup from Pinch My SaltAs I was thinking about what to post for today’s healthy recipe, I ran across this wonderful idea from Pinch My Salt, a great cooking blog that I often grab recipes from to share with you and to delight my friends and family, too.  This one appealed because I had all the ingredients in the frig already.  As it’s cold here, a hot soup added to the appeal, too.

The soup is chock-full of vegetables that aren’t just good for us, they’re great for us.  My days in Italy also made me a huge fan of fresh fennel.  If you don’t know it yet, I hope this recipe inspires you.

If you’re in the cooking mood, check out other healthy recipes on our site.

Have a great New Year’s Eve!

Creamy Fennel and Leek Soup

1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium fennel bulbs (stalks removed), chopped
3 medium leeks (white parts only), sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock (or broth)
1-2 cups water
2 cups whole milk
kosher salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, or to taste

1. In a large saucepan, melt butter in olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add onions, celery, leeks, and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are softened and just starting to take on a bit of color.

2. Add the chopped cauliflower, the quart of stock, and enough water so that the vegetables are just barely covered with liquid (Nicole added about a cup of water).  Turn up the heat, and bring the soup up to a simmer.  Cover, turn heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Remove pot from heat, and puree soup in the pot with an immersion blender. Alternately, you could puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor (make sure to let it cool first!) and then return the soup to the pot.

4. Add the milk, and season to taste with salt and white pepper.  Return to low heat and cook until the soup is warmed through, but don’t let it boil.  Serve immediately.

Yield: 8 servings

Recipe notes: You can reserve and chop the fennel fronds and use them to garnish the bowls of soup.  This is a very light soup as is, but you can make it even lighter by using milk with a lower fat percentage.  Nicole personally feels that the soup will taste best using whole milk, but feel free to make it according to your own preference.  Alternately, if you want a creamier soup, you can substitute part or all of the milk with half and half or even heavy cream.  Nicole used chicken stock in this soup, but it can easily be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable stock.

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