Carrot and Fennel Soup

Carrot and Fennel Soup Recipe

Before I share the recipe for the soup I enjoyed for lunch today, I feel compelled to tell you something about myself. Here goes. I'm the sort of person who owns one umbrella. One umbrella I really like, instead of four umbrellas I sort-of like. It's a tendency that carries over into other areas of my life (books and magazines aside) and it works out nicely because our apartment isn't particularly large. But it's raining today, and I'm sitting here next to the window, lovely bowl of soup in front of me, thinking about my favorite umbrella. Midnight blue adorned with tiny, pin-point white dots, it has scalloped edges and folds down to a size that can usually be accommodated by my bag. It braves a strong wind with confidence, and guides rivulets of water out past my shoulders before letting them drop - keeping me dry in the process. I bought it at a Muji store in Tokyo, and thoroughly enjoyed having it as my rainy day partner. It went with me to France. It went with me to Spain. And then, a few months back, it went with me to Tartine - the sun broke through, we sat outside, visited with a few friends, had a few treats, and when I walked away from the table I must have left it hooked to the back of my chair. My hope is that someone found it, took it home, and now likes it as much as I did. I think about it on days like today, I somehow can't help it. I've tried three umbrellas since I lost the Muji, and quite frankly, rainy days aren't quite the same.

Carrot Fennel Soup Recipe

The soup? I riffed on a recipe from The Essential New York Times Cookbook. I often crave clean, simple meals in between all the holiday decadence, and there was a carrot & fennel soup in Amanda's book that sounded just right. It's simple, brothy, and the perfect way to use up a bunch of bushy-topped farmers' market carrots. I added wild rice, but you could use another grain if you like. Or omit he wild rice altogether - it isn't in the original recipe. I also had a vibrant blood orange olive oil on hand, so I used that to add a citrusy accent to this soup, you can certainly use fresh orange juice instead. And, as I mention below, you can top with a poached egg and have a one-dish meal on your hands. I hope all of you here in the U.S. enjoyed the long weekend and were able to spend it with lots of friends and family around. -h

Carrot and Fennel Soup

Like I mention up above - it's easy to make a meal of this by serving it topped with a poached egg. Alternately, you can make this soup vegan by omitting the Parmesan.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed fronds reserved, thinly sliced

2 1/4 pounds / 36 ounces farmer market carrots, thickly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10 cups good-tasting vegetable broth or water
salt to taste
3 cups / 12 oz cooked wild rice

2 tablespoons blood orange olive oil or 5 tablespoons fresh orange juice

lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in your largest soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the fennel and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened a bit. Stir in the carrots and cook another 10 minutes, just long enough for them to soften a touch and start taking on a bit of color. Stir in the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Stir in the broth. Bring to a simmer and simmer, covered, until the carrots are very tender, another 15-20 minutes or so. Stir in the wild rice, bring back to a simmer, taste and add more salt if needed

Remove from heat and stir in the blood orange olive oil or orange juice. Taste and add more if needed. Serve dusted, generously, with freshly grated Parmesan, and a sprinkling of the reserved fennel fronds.

Serves about 6.

Inspired by the Carrot & Fennel Soup in The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 30 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • Ohh, no. I feel your pain. I hate losing stuff because I never do so it makes me crazy. Hope you find an equally splendorous umbrella.

    lori
  • My favorite umbrella was a yellow ducky umbrella that security made me leave outside a Feist concert in Prospect Park a few years ago. When we all came back out, it was dark, and everyone politely attempted to reclaim his or her personal umbrella. I was sure I had mine, but in fact I'd picked up a pink ducky umbrella! I hope that umbrella owner has my yellow one now. A carrot-dill soup went up on my blog about a month ago -- this one pureed. Yours looks delicious!

    Claire
  • This recipe looks AMAZING! And blood orange olive oil... yum! Can't wait to try.

    KarmaCucina
  • This looks so good and healthy. I think anything would look appetizing after 5 days of turkey!

    A Teenage Gourmet
  • Hi Heidi, I too have been thinking about carrot soups...but using beautiful spring carrots. It is almost getting too hot for soups here in NZ though, so it may have to wait till next year :-) Beautiful photos as always.

    Emm
  • Lovely, simple soup with my favourite flavours, thanks. i must get my hands on that book!

    Amanda
  • "My hope is that someone found it, took it home, and now likes it as much as I did." Exactly how I feel about my Outdoor Research foldable slate colored hat which came out of my bag at a music festival this summer and never made it's way back in. I think of it often, search online for one being sold, and wish they still made the slate version. My head misses it! Oh, and the recipe sounds fabulous, as usual!

    BeerCurious
  • My heart actually broke when I read you lost your umbrella. I can get emotionally attached to inanimate objects in the same way. Hopefully it's found a happy home.....On the plus side, your soup looks stunning. I love the photo too

    Liana @ femme fraiche
  • This really is the perfect clean, simple meal to enjoy between bouts of holiday excess!

    The Rowdy Chowgirl
  • I'm with you on having one thing I LOVE rather than multiple that I kinda like.... but it does make it tough when they go and get lost. love the sound of this soup. fits right in with my philosophy of only cooking recipes with 5 ingredients ;)

    jules
  • Thanks for this recipe. We just cut most of our fennel before a major freeze, then covered the rest. We'll see how long it makes it here in TN. Unrelated question: We have two grapefruit trees that my daughter grew from seeds. They sit in pots outside in summer and poke us all winter in the house. Can the leaves be used in cooking? Don't know if they are delicious or deadly.

    Wayve at Dennison's Family Farm CSA
  • I agree. This is entirely the sort of bite that I crave, right now. RIP, dear Muji. May another equally (differently) lovely parapluie find its way into your hands, soon.

    molly
  • I can understand your attachment to that umbrella. It sounded so perfectly practical (and pretty too). I hope you find one you like as much, real soon. This soup sounds delicious, and the drizzle of blood orange olive oil totally sold me on it... I actually have some in my pantry! It's like gold.

    Stephanie
  • The soup sounds and looks really great. About the umbrella, I surely hope someone will read this and maybe will send it back to you. I lost a coat once, that I left in Athens. It went all the way to England and was sent back to me, by a friend, to Brasil.. So, be faithful.

    Gilda
  • Oh my - blood orange olive oil? That opens up a whole new Pandora's recipe box! Thanks for posting this soup recipe - I get in such habits with carrots: roasted, grated raw, dipped in hummus. It's awesome to have new recipes to change it up a bit.

    Camille
  • Great recipe and have you looked at the Muji US store website? You can purchase umbrellas (although it may not be exactly what you lost) from them. The url is: www. muji.us/store

    Karen
  • I am so into fennel right now, so thank you for providing more fennel inspiration. And I hope you find another umbrella you like as much as the one you lost.

    Miri Leigh
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