This roasted carrot and fennel soup is bursting with flavor, it is a soup I make over and over again and never get tired of. Roasting the vegetables brings out a subtle sweetness from the carrots and fennel, add that with the gentle flavor of thyme and then the hit of garlic, yes this soup is full of flavor. It makes a great lunch or would be a great starter if you serve it in smaller portions. As you may have seen in my other soup recipes, I like to have some extra toppings on my soups, for this one I have toasted some fennel seeds, added a nice dollop of natural yogurt and a few extra thyme leaves. It is entirely up to you to add these extras too, but if I was to choose one it would definitely be the toasted fennel seeds, these seeds give an extra punch of flavor to this soup that is really great.
So, now for the science bit 😉 Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and are high in fibre. They are also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, potassium, folate, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc. However, it is the antioxidant beta-carotene in carrots that makes carrots special. Beta-carotene gives carrots their bright orange color and when it is absorbed in the intestine it is converted into vitamin A during digestion. Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, a healthy immune system and cell growth.
Fennel is high in vitamin C and potassium, and is also high in fibre. It also contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and vitamin K. Fennel is also a natural source of estrogen. Fennel is one of the only vegetables to contain selenium, which can help reduce inflammation and may also helps with liver enzyme production.
Serves: 4 Time: cooking 35 minutes, prep 10 minutes
500g carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices
1 medium fennel bulb, cut into slices
4 sprigs of thyme + 2 more for serving
1 litre of vegetable stock
3 tbs olive oil
1 medium white onion, 120g
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbs fennel seeds (optional)
4 tbs natural full fat yogurt (optional)
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C, add the sliced carrots, fennel, thyme and 2 tbs of olive oil to a baking tray, give it a little mix up to make sure everything is covered in olive oil. Place the tray on the middle rack in the oven and roast for about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a large sauce pan, add the onion and cook gently until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. As soon as the carrots and fennel are done, remove the sprigs of thyme and add the vegetables to the sauce pan. Mix well and then add a pinch of sea salt, a little freshly ground black pepper and the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, heat a pan over a medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds, keep tossing them so they don’t burn. Cook them for about 2 minutes and then set aside.
- After 20 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and then blitz it with a hand held blender until it is smooth.
- Serve with a dollop of yogurt, some thyme leaves and the toasted fennel seeds.