Eating with the seasons is one of the kindest things we can do for the Earth. Before the industrial revolution and global trade took off, humans had to rely on the foods that would grow for them throughout the year. Eating seasonally connects you to the place you live. It invites you to explore foods that you have never thought to use and to stretch your cooking knowledge and skill set. Eating seasonality also reminds you that your health and the health of your surrounding environment are codependent. That there are nourishing crops all throughout the year to sustain you. Even if you don’t have a garden at home, the farmers market can be your guide. Look through the selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables and meal-plan based on that. That’s what I did with this Winter Seasonal Soup. I found myself drawing a blank with the ingredients in the market stalls. Then, I remembered how growing up, my best friend’s mom would make us potato leek soup every winter. I found myself gliding through the stalls, picking up ingredients I normally wouldn’t like fennel root! I let the seasonal ingredients guide me and got the most amazing soup I have ever made. Follow the recipe exactly or open it up to what you find at your local farmer’s market!
Fennel Root, Leek, and Potato Seasonal Winter Soup
- 1 medium fennel root (stems removed)
- 2 medium leeks (clean thoroughly, dirt gets stuck in the stalks)
- 5 medium/large leaves dinosaur (or other) kale roughly chopped
- 1 ½ tbsps olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 medium russet potatoes (chopped ~1 inch cubes)
- 1 pinch salt (¼ tsp)
- 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- 1 32 fl oz carton veggie broth
- 1 13.5 fl oz can coconut cream (can use coconut milk for a lighter soup)
- Fried onions for garnish (optional)
- Wash vegetables well, especially leeks. Cut fennel into ¼ inch slices (like you would an onion).
- Cut leeks into coins, stopping where the leaves begin to branch out and become dark green.
- Heat oil over medium heat and add fennel root, leeks, and kale. Saute unit soft, ~5 minutes.
- Add garlic, potatoes, thyme, rosemary, and salt and continue cooking on medium heat for additional 3-5 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth and bring to a high simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until potatoes can be cut through easily (fork tender), 15-20 minutes.
- Stir in coconut cream and remove from heat.
- Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
- Serve with fried onions as a garnish to add a nice texture to your soup. Enjoy!
Nina Lowry is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley in her last year studying Molecular Environmental Biology with a focus in Animal Health and Behavior and minoring in Conservation and Resource Studies. She has been vegan for 2 years and grew up mostly plant-based. She is passionate about animal rights, animal behavior, and sustainability. She has a rescued brown tabby named Iggy who is her pride and joy and is talented at learning new tricks and walking on a leash! She has rescued many animals from lab guinea pigs to dairy calves and hopes to participate in many more. She enjoys ceramics, photography, camping, traveling, and working with her hands to craft and create!