Tag Archives: Fennel

Vegan Carrot Soup

vegan carrot soup

So it’s Carrot Week here at the Texan New Yorker, and yesterday I showcased carrots in dessert form, so I figure today I’m going to give you an extremely healthy soup. I found this recipe in Joanne Chang’s second cookbook, Flour Too, and she serves this at her bakeries for lunchtime patrons.

Vegan Carrot soup

Last fall, I went to visit my mom in Cambridge, MA, (she was there for a conference) and I was able to dine at the original Flour locale. Twice. In one day. Needless to say, it was phenomenal. This soup isn’t what I ordered (carrots weren’t really in season back in November), but having tasted it at home, I can completely see why the locals would go nuts over it.

vegan carrot soup

Vegan carrot soup

Chef Chang says she has a rule about making vegan dishes at the bakery: non-vegans must go nuts over them too. She hit the nail on the head with this one. Matt and I aren’t vegans, but we LOVED this soup. I think the secret is roasting the carrots. That method coaxes out so much flavor I’m not even sure I knew carrots had. Really amazing end results. Vegan or not, you should try it.

Vegan Carrot Soup

{One year ago: “Old Fashioned” Snickerdoodles}

Source: slightly adapted from Flour, Too by Joanne Chang

Ingredients:
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1-inch chunks
3 tbs olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced crosswise
1 medium fennel bulb, leafy tops trimmed and bulb cored and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into rounds
6 cups good-quality vegetable stock
1 small tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and chopped
½ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
Pinch of dried thyme

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Place a rack in the center of the oven.
Spread the carrots on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbs of olive oil, plus the fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with your hands to make sure they are evenly coated. Roast the carrots for 35 to 45 minutes, or until tender. Set aside.
In a large stockpot, heat the remaining 1 tbs olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, fennel and garlic. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the ginger, the roasted carrots and the stock. Bring to a boil.
Now add the apple and simmer about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until very smooth. Add the nutmeg, dried thyme, and taste for seasoning. It will likely need some salt and pepper at this point.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm.

Fish, Fennel and Saffron Stew

fish, fennel and saffron stew

Happy No-It’s-Not-Quite-Friday-Yet, where we continue our theme of Winter Stew! Today is a seafood stew, a somewhat new concoction according to Julie’s unadventurous childhood palate. We just didn’t eat much seafood, and I always, repeat always, associated stew with beef. But, I think I’m at least a little bit validated, because in researching seafood stews, they seem to mostly hail from Mediterranean Europe. I, on the other hand, did not.

fish, fennel and saffron stew

In fact, the stew I made for today has some Spanish inspiration, for sure. Saffron. Smoked paprika. Which of course made for an extremely flavorful pot of stew. After making this and eating off it for several days, I’m quite convinced that if you relegate stew to beef, as I did growing up, then you’re really missing out. Seafood stew is healthy, light, and the best part? It cooks quickly while tasting like it slow cooked all day.

Fish, Fennel and Saffron Stew

And, as with most soups and stews, leftovers only get better. And since my dear husband is of the firm belief that there’s a special place in hell for people who reheat fish in corporate break room microwaves, I’ve gotten to enjoy most of the leftovers! Yea for me! I hope y’all enjoy this one, we sure did. It’s especially wonderful with a cold glass of chardonnay to accompany it. Check back tomorrow – we’ll be concluding Winter Stew Week by eating our vegetables, like mom said we should!

Fish Fennel Saffron Stew

{One year ago: Homemade Old Bay Seasoning}

Source: adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, February/March 2010

Ingredients:
2 tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium fennel bulb, tops removed, cored, and chopped (reserve a few fennel fronds for garnish, if desired)
1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbs tomato paste
½ cup dry white wine
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 large sprig of fresh thyme
¼ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
2 pinches saffron
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 lb. skinless thick white fish, such as cod or halibut, cut into 1-inch chunks

Directions:
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, carrot, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add 3 ½ cups water, the beans, thyme, paprika, saffron, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender and the stew has thickened slightly, about 25 minutes.
Add the fish and stir to combine. Let the fish cook through; this only takes 2-4 minutes, so don’t walk away.
When the fish has cooked through, which you’ll know because it will start flaking apart, shut off the heat and season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve in bowls immediately.