This recipe is from The Almond Milk Cookbook by Alan Roettinger. Alan is a writer, food designer, blogger, and public speaker. As a private chef for over thirty years, he’s served a broad spectrum of high-profile clients, from entertainers to presidents, and has honed his expertise in bringing together health and pleasure in food. He is also the author of Extraordinary Vegan and several other cookbooks. He will be presenting at Vegfest 2016 in April.
Fennel is beneficial to digestion, making this soup an excellent first course. Leeks add a welcome secondary layer of flavor, and almond milk deepens and enriches the overall effect. (Serves 4)
2 large fennel bulbs, with fronds attached
2 leeks, white part only
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth or water
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Remove the fronds from the fennel stalks and chop the fronds coarsely. Transfer the fronds to a plate, cover, and set aside. Cut the fennel bulbs in half lengthwise, then thinly slice them crosswise. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove any grit. Pat them dry and thinly slice crosswise.
Put the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced fennel and leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Don’t let the vegetables brown. Add the broth and salt and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender and the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 25 minutes.
Transfer to a blender and add the almond milk and pepper. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the fennel fronds and add the rest of the fronds to the blender. Process on high speed until smooth. Pour into the pot, straining through a fine-mesh sieve if a smoother soup is desired. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds and serve at once.