Throughout the month of January, I challenge us to embrace the mantra of gradualness, celebrating each victory, each run (however long), each piece of fruit (instead of that cupcake), each attended yoga class. By acknowledging our incremental efforts and successes, however minute or grand, life and our attitudes about it take on a monumentally positive spin and we find success in ever day. We keep our ‘resolution’ momentum, our gusto, our positivity. With so many people kicking off 2015 with the intention of incorporating more healthful practices into their everyday, I’ll be sharing a series of lighter and abundantly nourishing recipes- perfect for those seeking a post-holiday reset or for plant-based inspiration in this new year. A success in every meal. [line][line]
I think it’s more than fair to admit [though it’s probably blatantly obvious from my recipes and photographs] the majority of my autumn and winter diet is comprised of soup. There’s something so inherently nourishing, cozy, economical, about throwing everything into one big pot, letting it do the self fulfilling work of simmering, and hunkering down, perhaps under some wool in the form of a blanket, and digging in. Of knowing leftovers are waiting at my disposal; I am the ant, in complete control of my hibernation. That being said, no two are ever truly the same, indicative of what’s lingering in my pantry, the odds and ends hiding in my fridge, a desperate, and again economical, desire, to let nothing go to waste yet pack in as much quality nutrition as possible.
A perfect balance of wonderfully sweet with slight undertones of savory brine, today I’m so excited to share my Carrot, Olive & Fennel Seed Soup. Made with a seemingly bizarre combination of salty green olives, slightly licorice-esque fennel seed, and carrots, this very simple and somehow balanced soup requires minutes of preparation and simmers to one-pot brothy perfection in record time. Carrots, one natures richest dietary sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene, have been shown to stimulate the production of immune cells that protect the body from all types of infection, protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, reduce inflammation, promote healthy skin health and eyes, and provide an amazing source of vitamin A. I serve my vegan carrot soup over ½ cup brown basmati rice or quinoa, topped with extra olives and a few sprigs of fresh dill. [line][line]
Carrot, Olive & Fennel Seed Soup [makes 6 servings]
inspired by: Le Pain Quotidien Cookbook, Carrot, olive & fennel seed soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 can (6 ounces) green olives, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 dried bay leaf
6 cups filtered water
salt & pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until just hot. Add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, until translucent and just beginning to brown (about 4-5 minutes). Add remaining ingredients and bring pot to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow soup to simmer for 10 minutes, or until carrots are fork tender. Remove pot from heat, remove bay leaf, and using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it is very smooth. [note: if you do not have an immersion blender, allow soup to cool, then transfer it to a high speed blender. Blend until very smooth]. Serve and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per serving = 2 cups]
140 Calories, 19g Carbohydrates, 8.5g Fat, 1.8g Protein, 5.9g Fiber, 8g Sugar