“Stay in and eat at home because it’s good for you, it’s good for your family- and it’s far easier than you think”- Mark Bittman. This advice by the minimalist cook just about sums up this post.
Growing up eating out was a luxury. It was considered a welcome respite after a long school week. Our meals were all home made with fresh, local and seasonal produce. Looking back we are very thankful for this and often wonder why we have stopped adhering to that practice. We’ve gotten in the habit of using short cuts and compromises on what we consume which is far from ideal. This blog is just the beginning of the change we would like to see in ourselves. It is our motivation to eat mostly at home, use seasonal produce, be aware of what goes in our food and share healthy recipes.
Fennel and cauliflower roasted in the oven, some coconut milk for extra creaminess, a delicious hint of tropical spices and some garbanzo beans for that much needed protein – this soup will fill your home with the most wonderful aroma. If any of you end up trying this, we’d love to hear how it turned out.
Ingredients (makes about 6 generous cups)
- 1 medium fennel bulb with fronds
- 1 small cauliflower
- 2 garlic pods
- 2 cups of low sodium vegetable broth (see recipe below for home made broth if you are feeling enthusiastic)
- 1 cup coconut milk (preferably full fat)
- 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans (optional)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 small bay leaf
- About 4 tbsp of olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400F. Chop the cauliflower and fennel bulb into medium sized pieces and toss this along with the garlic pods in some olive oil. Save the fennel fronds for later. Spread the veggies on a baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes or till they are browned a bit and cooked through. Now squeeze the roasted garlic out of it’s pod into your blender with the veggies and blend them with the vegetable broth till smooth.
While the veggies are roasting, toast the cumin and fennel seeds on medium heat in a pan till they impart a lovely aroma. Take them off the heat and grind them.
Add a tsp of olive oil to a saucepan, toss in the bay leaf, add the soup, ground spices, some salt, pepper and the red pepper flakes. If you are using garbanzo beans, this is the time to add them to the pot. Bring to a boil and then on low heat add the coconut milk. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Your soup is now ready.
To serve drizzle the soup with your favorite olive oil (a lemon infused olive oil is just perfect if you have some) and top with a few fennel fronds.
Nutrition Facts (with garbanzo beans)
Number of Servings : 6
Serving Size : 1 cup
Total Calories per serving : 215
Total Fat 17 gms
Saturated Fat 7.3 gms
Trans Fat 0
Total Carbs 13.7 gms
Dietary Fiber 6.7 gms
Sugars No Added Sugar
Ingredients (for vegetable broth):
- Tomatoes – 4
- Chopped onion – 3 cups
- Cubed potatoes – 1 cup
- Celery sticks – 4
- Finely chopped Carrots – 3 cups
- Bell peppers – 2
- Garlic – 3 cloves
- Cloves – 3
- Bay leaf – 1
- Black whole pepper – 6 to 7
- Fresh Parsley – a bunch
- Olive Oil – 1tsp
- Water – 2 liters
Add a tsp of olive oil in a deep bottomed pan and add onions. Sauté for 3 minutes and add carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers and cook for 5 minutes. Add 2 liters of water to the vegetables and add the other ingredients and allow it boil till they become half the quantity. Pour the broth through a colander into a large container. The filtered liquid is your tasty vegetable broth.