1 Tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped; fronds reserved and chopped 1 small onion, chopped
1 ½ lbs. carrots, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4-5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
¾ tsp. salt, or to taste
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. crème fraîche, or more to taste (can use coconut milk for dairy free version)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large, heavy saucepan, warm oil over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion, and cook, stirring, until browned. Add the carrots and garlic, and cook for another two minutes. Pour in 4 cups broth (if, after puréeing, you feel that the soup is too thick, you can add the final cup), and season with salt. Simmer, covered, until the carrots, fennel and onion are very tender, about 20-25 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat, and stir in the orange juice and reserved fennel fronds. If you have an immersion blender, purée the soup directly in the pot; otherwise, transfer it in batches to a food processor or blender, puréeing until smooth. Stir in the crème fraîche or coconut milk. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve warm.
Adapted from Amanda Hesser in The New York Times Magazine and author of Cooking for Mr. Latte.
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