I love a soup that's intensely flavorful yet simple to make. This soup has relatively few ingredients but boasts a rich flavor, and an equally beautiful color.
This recipe is adapted from "Small Plates & Sweet Treats" by Aran Goyoaga. The original recipe does not call for adding asparagus, but I first made this in the springtime when its in season and couldn't resist. It makes a perfect addition to the fennel and spinach, and helps with the vibrant green color almost as much as the spinach does. However, if you can't get asparagus in season, the soup is still excellent if you omit it.
The original recipe also calls for adding mascarpone cheese. I include this in the ingredients list and the instructions. However, it's easy enough to make this a vegan soup by leaving out the cheese entirely. It is added mainly for texture, so you can instead add in a bit more potato for the thicker consistency achieved with the cheese.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Yields: 4-6 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1 medium fennel bulb, diced
- 2 cups tender asparagus spears, thick ends trimmed off and spears chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 small Yukon gold potatoes, diced (or 4 small potatoes, if leaving out mascarpone cheese)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup spinach leaves, chopped
- 2 ounces mascarpone cheese (omit for the vegan version)
- In a medium saucepan over a medium flame, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot, fennel, salt and pepper and cook until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the diced potatoes, asparagus, remaining spices, and vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.
- Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat, and stir in the mascarpone cheese.
- Transfer the soup to a blender, or use a hand blender to puree it until smooth. Add more salt or pepper to taste.
- Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a drop or two of balsamic vinegar, and perhaps a sprinkle of chopped rosemary leaves.