Well, I’m not really publishing a hearty soup recipe because the weather has been awfully autumn-like in the past few days. No no no, not at all. Or maybe just a bit.
Fennel is still a little bit mystery to me. I don’t use it often in my recipes. I don’t even always remember its existence to be honest. I like using its seeds, I once made a focaccia with fennel seeds for example, mmmmm it was delicious. But fresh fennel?
On the other hand, I never made chutney myself before. I used store bought chutney, but I never made it myself. So this was the first time I ever made my own chutney.
Finally, hemp seeds. I had one pack of hemp seeds before, I used them in a few overnight oats recipes, but that’s all. Never used in cooking or baking (or maybe I did, but I honestly don’t remember!). So this recipe has been a way for me to use many new ingredients.
And the result? Awesome. So many different flavours combined in a very harmonious way, nothing is competing with each other, all creating a hearty and delicious soup. Perfect!
For cranberry chutney (optional to use):
1 large onion, diced
2.5 dl (or 1 cup or 150 gr.) dried cranberries
1/4 tsp allspice
2 tbsp coconut sugar
5 dl (or 2 cups) vegetable broth
For the soup:
2 tbsp olive oil (or you can also use coconut oil)
1 large onion, diced
3 large fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced thinly
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 litre (or 4 cups) vegetable broth (or water)
4 tbsp hemp seeds*
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp (or more) cranberry chutney (optional)
*I used roasted and salted because I wanted to feel its texture. If you want the seeds to blend into the soup a lot, buy raw and blanched seeds.
1. First make the chutney, if using: put all the ingredients for chutney in a pan or a saucepan on medium high heat. Cover the pan and let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced into syrup.
2. Transfer the ready chutney into a food processor and make a chunky paste (sorry, no photos of this part). Put the chutney into a clean jar and put aside (it will last for a few weeks in an airtight container in the fridge).
3. Now we make the soup: In a pot, put the olive oil and warm for about 30 seconds on medium high heat. Add onion and fennel and cook, frequently stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent and fennel is getting soft.
4. Add fennel seeds and continue to cook by stirring for 1 more minute.
5. Add vegetable broth (or water), stir, cover the pan and let the soup come to a boil.
6. When the soup starts to boil, stir it again, lower the heat to medium, cover the pan again and let the soup cook for 20 more minutes.
7. At the 20 minutes mark, stir in the hemp seeds and cook for 5 more minutes.
8. When the soup is fully cooked, turn off the heat. Using a hand blender, or by putting into a standing blender, puree the soup.
9. Return pureed soup into the pot, adjust the taste with salt and pepper and stir in the cranberry chutney if using. Serve immediately. Enjoy!