I have a lot of goals in life, but in regards to my food & diet, one of my goals is to eat a WIDE variety of plant foods. I believe they are all medicinal although we don’t always have the research to prove it. Yet. Anyway, fennel is medicinal, but one of those foods that we often don’t know what to do with so I’m here to help you with that.
Although Johny was initially wrinkling his nose at the thought of licorice/fennel soup, he LOVED it! It really had more flavor from the thyme than the fennel. It tasted like we were eating at a 5 star restaurant. Seriously.
Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Vegan. Nutrient Dense.
Make no mistake, food is medicine!
And although making the stock made it a bigger job, I was still able to make it without it consuming my day. After all, making stock is just putting things in a soup pot and letting them simmer right?
I was seriously scraping my soup bowl to make sure I got every drop. So give it a whirl.
- Freshest from autumn through early spring.
- The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible.
- Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander.
- Like many of its fellow spices, fennel contains its own unique combination of phytonutrients—including the flavonoids rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides—that give it strong antioxidant activity.
- The most fascinating phytonutrient compound in fennel, however, may be anethole. In animal studies, the anethole in fennel has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer.
- The anethole in fennel prevents activation of a potentially strong gene-altering and inflammation-triggering molecule called NF-kappaB. NfkB is a BAD player!
- 6 cups water
- Stocks and fronds of 2 fennel bulbs (the green part including the wispy pieces) cut into 3″ pieces. Save just a few of the wispy pieces for a garnish if you want to be fancy!
- Greens of 2 leeks, cleaned and cut into 3″ pieces
- 1-2 stalks of celery, cleaned and cut into 3″ pieces
In your soup pot, combine the water, the greens of the leeks and the fennel bulbs (be sure to keep the white parts of each reserved) and your celery. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. While this is happening, you can prep your veggies listed below. When the time is up for the broth, strain off your veggies, discard them as they’ve given their life, and reserve your vegetable broth.
1 generous T olive oil (See this post to learn more about quality olive oils)
Thinly sliced whites of 2 fennel bulbs
Thinly sliced whites of 2 leeks
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium sized Yukon gold potato, diced (makes it creamy – if you want to do strict paleo, substitute some coconut milk)
1-2 tsp dried thyme
Himalayan salt to taste
1. Make the stock as instructed above.
2. In a heavy (non-teflon) skillet, saute the whites of the leek for about 1 minute, stirring to coat them in the oil. Then, place a cover over your skillet and let the leeks steam and soften for about 2 minutes.
3. Now add the white slices of the fennel bulb, your celery pieces, and your diced Yukon gold potato to the skillet and stir to coat with the oil. Add just a touch more oil if needed to coat and seal your veggies.
4. As they soften, add your thyme. If you have fresh, use a generous 2 or more teaspoons. If you don’t have fresh, add dried thyme which is more concentrated so add 1-2 teaspoons.
5. Once your sliced and chopped veggie/thyme mix has softened, add it to your broth when it is ready.
6. Bring your broth and veggies to a gentle boil for about 30 minutes. Then, very very carefully, puree it in batches in your blender. I say very very carefully because pureeing hot items can be hazardous to your health. Be sure to have the blender on the absolute lowest speed, and slowly work up. I always cover the blender with a doubled-over hand towel just in case the pressure were to build and blow the lid off.
7. Once pureed, adjust the salt if needed and then enjoy with a beautiful salad like we did!