Spicy Carrot and Fennel Soup (Gluten free and/or Vegan)
There are some vegetables that I find disturbing.
One of them is this odd, black root vegetable that I see here in France. I’ve yet to work out what it’s called but it looks like a cross between a long, sweet potato and a lump of coal. And then there’s the Topinambour also known –apparently – as the Jerusalem Artichoke.
Woeful in my ignorance, I had never heard of Topinambour, but after my dear friend Sam told me it makes you fart like a trooper, I have pledged never to cook it. And I have still not cooked a real artichoke, despite lovely blog friends describing at length how to do it in one of my comments boxes. Oh shameless cooking heathen.
And then there’s fennel.
The colours are pleasing enough and as far as I know it doesn’t make you trump, but what’s with it looking like a heart?
Here’s a diagram of a heart:
Here's a picture of fennel:
You see? Is it any wonder that in nearly 4 decades (I said nearly) I have never sliced into the Aorta or Vena Cava of fennel?
But now it’s January and I’m feeling lardy. The December bliss of stuffing tasty morsels willy- nilly into my mouth has to stop and it’s time to get back on track.
Filled with that January feeling that this year I might really change and become a much better, funnier, slimmer, nicer, kinder, more adventurous person whose skin is smooth and who has tight buns, Heidi’s recipe inspired me to take a blade to the fennel left ventricle.
Of course I wasn’t content to just follow the recipe, I had to bastardise it completely, adding plenty of spice to increase my metabolism and burn off fat (or something like that). Go heavy on the spice and you’ll find this a very warming dish indeed!
Happy January dears!
Spicy Carrot and Fennel Soup
Perhaps you would like to adopt my 'you can never have too much spice' maxim for 2011? In my book, if you're not sweating and agitated and you can still feel your lips, it ain't hot enough... Readers of a gentle disposition may adjust the spice quantities to suit their taste.
Remove the frilly green bits from the fennel and reserve for decoration at the end
Faced with fennel I wasn't really sure what to do. I thought the outer skin might have to be discarded, but couldn't bring myself to waste it. So I washed it and chopped it along with the rest of the bulb. I did cut the base off though. I also cut off the stalky bits that look so much like an aorta. So, wash the exterior of the fennel, cut off the aorta and vena cava (stalks), cut off the base and chop roughly
Peel, top and tail the carrots and chop roughly. Finely chop the garlic and green chilli peppers
Heat some olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and add the fennel, carrots, garlic and chilli peppers. Fry on a medium to high heat for a minute or so and then add the cumin, turmeric, chilli powder and fenugreek. Stir and fry until the veg is coated. Add the vinegar
Add the litre of water and the GF stock cubes, bring to the boil, stir and reduce the heat so that it simmers energetically until the fennel is just cooked. Adjust seasoning to taste
Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the packet instructions
When the rice is cooked, ladle some into the bottom of your soup bowl, then top up the bowl with spicy soup. Add the chopped frilly fennel bits to garnish