I find the holidays are a bit difficult when it comes to making good food choices. There are just so many goodies everywhere I look, it’s hard not to indulge every minute of the day. For me, food and family time are incredibly intertwined. Spending time with the family means spending time in the kitchen or just enjoying all sorts of food together. Meals are always shared and both new and old recipes are tried and tested.
These days, since we only get to see our families once or twice a year, we’re always making up for lost time. This means an abundance of my childhood favorites and things that only my mother can make. I’m quite sure the pounds are creating a nice layer around my belly at this point. After a good couple weeks however, I’m in need of a breather. A little detox from all the indulgent food and wine. Something light but still satisfying. This soup is the perfect solution.
I have to admit, neither fennel nor celery are my favorite vegetables. Sometimes fennel is a bit too sweet and aniseed-y. Celery is too watery and requires far too much chewing. Somehow though, the combination of the two really makes something special.
This soup is perfect for this time of year. Still wintery and great for the holidays but also a light and healthy option before the New Years eating starts! The flavor is rich but the soup is light. It probably won’t stand out in a crowd, but it will make your tummy happy.
I first tried this combination while in a cute cafe in Berlin. For me it was an unlikely combo but I ended up loving it. I’ve substituted potatoes for all the cream and think its a pretty healthy choice!
Fennel & Celery Soup
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 100 g white portion of leek, finely sliced (about 3/4 cup)
- 200 g celery stalk, medium dice (about 2 cups)
- 200 g fennel bulb, medium dice (about 2 cups)
- 1 l vegetable broth (about 4 cups)
- 260 g potatoes, small dice (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Add the leek, celery and fennel and let sweat for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cover. Let the veggies cook for a further 15 minutes or so until everything is softened.
Turn up the heat again and add in the veggie broth, potatoes and the white pepper. Let boil partially covered for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are fully cooked.
Transfer everything to a blender and blend til completely smooth. Pour back into the saucepan and thin with up to a cup of water.
Top with fried leeks if desired. Just julienne the leeks into 3 inch strips and flash fry in a shallow pan. Strain and place on a paper towel to soak up the extra oil.