Did anyone say cheat sheet??? Would you believe me that carrot and fennel soup could taste like squash soup??? I love squash soup, I really do. I love squash too. When I saw this recipe years ago in LCBO’s “Food & Drink” I thought it was interesting. I made it, and at the first taste it reminded me of squash soup! What a wonderful replacement! You know, for a change… or when you live somewhere where apparently squash is as expensive as meat…
What is interesting about it is how it’s thickened. Usually, it would be with a potato. One potato does do the trick, but why use starchy carbs when you can use fiber! OATS! It is thickened with oats! I know, it gets more unbelievable hahah
The recipe says to add whipping cream with chopped watercress. As much as that would be nice, whipping cream in my soup????????? I guesss….. if you really can’t forego the fat in every course… seriously, it’s soup. It needs to be hearty and healthy not artery clogging. I don’t think I’ve ever added it, and I don’t think it needs it. It is awesome as it is. And we could use a little less fat in our diet. You know, the little cuts here and there. (besides, if you ask me, if you forego the cream in the soup, you can have a bite of creamy cheese at the end of dinner… that is a pretty good trade off if you ask me… hahah)
I guess you’re now left with making it… sorry, no other way to know!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large stalk celery, sliced
1 medium onion or 2 small ones, sliced
2 cloves garlic
6 large carrots, sliced
1 fennel bulb or 2 small ones
½ cup quick-cooking oatmeal
5 to 6 cups (1.25 to 1.5 L) water or stock
2 bouillon cubes (if not using stock)
salt & pepper to taste
1 or 2 small bay leaves
1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat and add the chopped celery, onion and garlic and stir. Stir for a few minutes until the onion starts softening and lower the heat if the garlic starts to burn.
2. Add the carrots, fennel, oats, 5 cups of liquid (and bouillon cubes if using) and bay leaves.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for around 25 minutes, until the veggies are soft.
4. Remove the bay leaves and purée the soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor. (I prefer the immersion blender (or a better food processor!) because mine left it chunky and not smooth, so it’s not a velouté)
5. Sprinkle in some pepper, check the seasoning and see if you need one more cup of liquid. For me 5 cups was enough. It will depend on how thick you want it or how much your veggies yielded.
Even if you don’t agree that it’s similar to squash soup, you have to agree that it is a close second! 🙂 And now you can thicken soups with oats! How cool is that?