I love waking up to the rain. The sound of rain falling and gathering into puddles just makes me want to move at a slower pace. It makes me want to stay in bed longer and just listen. Then to get up and not do. Instead to just simply be. I love mornings where I can justify doing nothing. I’ll lay in bed thinking and listening. When I get up, I’ll drink cold water to quench my thirst, while making (really good) coffee or hot tea. Then I’ll just sit in silence and drink my hot beverage of choice while it warms my hands and my insides.
Rain makes me think of spring. And BOY do I hope we’re moving that direction. I usually fear the warm weather and have a death grip on the remains of winter, long into spring. But this year is different. I have been aching for the sun on my face. For shorts and tanks, for more casual wear (for some reason the summer is more casual for me?), and for lighter food. Don’t get wrong, I do LOVE winter stews, meat, and everything warm. But things have changed for me around here. I find myself longing for salads, smoothies, strawberries and airy cakes. I am tired of wearing jackets and goosebumps!! I’m ready for sundresses and flats. Shorts and Chacos. Running shorts and tanks.
I’m. Just. Ready.
However, before we jump into all things light and airy here, I want to share this fabulous winter / spring soup with you. Since there is still a chill in the air, this soup will warm you up but not weigh you down. It’s light but filling and warm but not heavy. It’s the perfect vegetarian soup. (To me!). I have loved making this soup every year for the past three. I originally found it on one of the first food blogs I started reading (BGSK). I have changed a few things over the years and have found several different methods, toppings, additions etc. They all work and regardless of the direction you take, this soup is fantastic. It’s good for you (check the ingredient list!) and is the perfect balance of all the things your body needs for leaving winter and heading into spring.
Roasted Carrot & Fennel Soup
Slight adapted from BGSK
1 Large Organic Fennel Bulb** (reserve the fronds!)
1 Lb Organic Carrots**
1 Large Organic Spanish Onion** (any other mild onion will suffice)
Glug of Rosemary Olive Oil*
Sprinkle of Kosher Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
½ Cup+ White Wine
1 Quart Vegetable Stock**
½ Cup White Beans (already cooked)
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees (or 400 depending on your oven).
2) Chop fennel, carrots and onion into same size chunks. Spread them on a roasting sheet and
drizzle with rosemary olive oil, salt and pepper.
3) Roast vegetables until just done. My oven only takes 15-25 min depending on size.
4) Place vegetables, beans and most of the stock into large quart pot and using an immersion
blender, puree into a smooth consistency.
5) Add the rest of the stock and bring pureed soup to a boil.
6) Add in wine (altering amount if needed to achieve desired consistency).
7) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8) Chop fennel fronds for garnish.
Ladle into bowls, garnish with fronds and serve with warm crusty bread. I personally prefer to drizzle chunks of bread with rosemary olive oil and broil them. Sprinkle them with salt and dip in the soup! Num. Num.
*Rosemary Olive Oil: Simply place a few sprigs of rosemary into a jar with olive oil and let sit. I
use right away but keep the sprigs in the jar and the flavor intensifies.
**You can use store bought vegetable stock or just make your own with the peelings of the
vegetables you use here. While the vegetables are roasting, make your stock by boiling the
ends and peelings in water for about 15 minutes.
I’ve listed a few options below:
Top with fennel fronds, sesame sticks and/or feta.
Top with fennel fronds and fresh herbs and/or celery leaves.
Use potato or cream instead of white beans as the thickener.
Roast vegetables with Herbs de Provence or any other dried herbs.
Throw in celery, garlic or any other mild vegetables.
Eat hot or cold!