Every winter when cooler weather hits I’m ready for a cozy blanket and a bowl of hot soup. Soup for dinner can get old after a while though if you don’t have some variety. This caramelized fennel soup is fast, easy, and full of flavor! It’s also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and packed with veggies.

Fennel Soup Recipe

My fennel soup is a little bit different than some of the recipes you’ll find out there (in a good way!). Instead of using white beans, like cannellini beans, or potatoes to thicken the soup I keep it simple and stick to fresh fennel. The flavor is much stronger this way and it’s still just as filling.

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If you’re not familiar with fennel, it looks like celery but has a subtle anise or licorice flavor to it. Fennel seeds have a stronger anise taste, while the bulb and fennel fronds are lighter tasting. Instead of steaming or boiling it in chicken stock or vegetable stock, we’re caramelizing it in olive oil. This really helps bring out more depth of flavor!

Once the fennel has cooked down and sauteed I add chicken broth and seasonings. You could also use vegetable broth if preferred, but I think the chicken adds really good flavor (and nutrition). I’ll often make my own chicken stock, but when I don’t have time I use Kettle and Fire brand.

Soup Equipment

You’ll notice that unlike most soup recipes I’m using a skillet instead of a large pot. A Dutch oven will also work here. The idea is to have something with a heavy bottom that holds heat well. Since the fennel needs to caramelize and cook down for a while, it can burn in a thinner bottomed soup pot.

There are two ways to make this soup depending on how you want the final texture. For a thick and creamy soup use a high-speed blender or an immersion blender. A food processor doesn’t work the best here because it won’t turn it into a smooth puree. You can also leave it as a broth with pieces of fennel in it. Either way it’s delicious!

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