Happy Valentine’s Day! This year for Valentine’s Day I am craving a quiet night in with a hearty bowl of soup…add a glass of wine, cozy oversized blanket, and a few shows on the DVR and I am one happy girl! Here in Chicago we are settling in for a long winter night as the weatherman is predicting we’ll wake up to several inches of snow…cue the comfort food!
I am making a hearty Roasted Fennel and Cauliflower Soup tonight. Fennel is a great winter vegetable that holds up really well in soups and has a strong licorice like flavor component. Cauliflower lends a really creamy texture and the added dill and lemon zest in this soup wakes up and brightens all the flavors. After 30 minutes of roasting the vegetables the soup comes together quickly with a bit of sautéing and then blending. A small beet, avocado, and arugula salad on the side or even my favorite thyme popovers are a great accompaniment to this homemade soup!
- 1 large fennel bulb, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 large head cauliflower, chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans or chickpeas
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, divided
- 2 lemons, zested, then cut into wedges
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lay fennel and cauliflower flat on sheet pan (lined with foil) and roast for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for five minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the roasted fennel and cauliflower, vegetable broth, and garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Add one tablespoon fresh dill and blend the soup by using an immersion blender or transferring it to a regular blender. If using a regular blender, be very careful as the steam can sometimes cause the lid to blow off. I recommend blending small batches while holding the lid down with a pot holder or towel in hand and removing the small piece on the top of the blender to allow the steam to escape.
- Before serving, add salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish bowls with remaining fresh dill, lemon zest, a drizzle of olive oil, and serve with lemon wedges.