In my Bountiful Basket (a vegetable/fruit co-op that is akin to Russian Roulette) on Saturday I received Fennel. As in Fennel. Uhh, Fennel? I didn’t even know what it was. I had to spend fifteen minutes online to just figure out what the vegetable was. Apparently it is a licorice flavored bulb. Yes, you read that right, licorice flavored. Cut that baby open and the smell will hit you in the face. I fully admit I have received this same vegetable from Bountiful Baskets before, and it rotted in the bottom of my refrigerator. I wasn’t even sorry to see it go when I threw it out. Here is what it look like.
I was determined this would not happen again, so I did a little research before I came up with a recipe. Soup. It is hard to mess of soup, but licorice flavored soup? I didn’t know how it would work, but it tasted delicious. When I told my husband what was in the soup he was eating he said, “Wow! It is like you took everything that nobody wants to eat, and blended into a soup.” Thanks, babe. He said it tasted good but, “smelled funny.” At least he is honest.
My six year old son absolutely loved it. If I would have showed him the whole vegetables and told him to eat them, he would have run from the room screaming. But for some reason when they are bended up, he loves it. I can’t blame him. I don’t love the texture of most veggies. I do have a secret weapon when it comes to getting my kids to eat blended vegetable soups. This baby right here.
Really, what kid doesn’t want to eat all the letters? I just cook these up and mix them in his bowl and wha-la! Instantly kid friendly.
Don’t be daunted by the massive list of ingredients. This is the kind of soup you can just use what you have. If you are missing some of the vegetables, don’t stew… oh no…
1 C red lentils
1 butternut squash
2-3 cloves garlic
1 fennel bulb
2 C cabbage
1 apple, cored
2 celery stocks
1 C cauliflower
2 cans Vegtable or chicken stock
2 C Water
Fresh Basil to taste
Fresh Sage to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°. Chop vegetables. Place roast for 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Place in crockpot. Add water, vegetable stock, and lentils. Cover and cook on low for 6- 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. In blender or with immersion blend vegetables and broth with basil, sage, salt and pepper. Serve hot or cold.
Other possible vegetables are potatoes, carrots, white green beans, red/yellow/orange bell peppers. I avoid green vegetables because my kids more readily eat red or orange blended soups opposed to green.
A few tips-
I cooked the butternut squash in the crock pot the day before. Not that it necessary, but it is easy to get the meat out when it is cooked, and the crockpot is an easy way. You can just peel and dice the butternut squash instead.
If you work, roast the veggies the night before, throw everything in the crockpot in the morning, and enjoy for dinner.