Thyme Scented Creamy Fennel & Asparagus Soup

{Gluten Free, AIP, Paleo, Ketogenic, Whole30, SCD, Vegan Friendly}
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My Thyme Scented Creamy Fennel + Asparagus Soup represents one of the many ways I like to celebrate asparagus’s arrival and the joy of Spring’s bounty.

By time asparagus spears are hitting the farmer’s markets here in Seattle, the weather has warmed and the days have grown longer. We’ve officially entered what I call “The Last Season For Soup.” Winter is all about hearty stews. Come Summer, I’ll be loath to have anything hot, but this time of year a bowlful of something warm and light hits the spot.

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Creamy Spring-inspired soups like this one are rich in liver-supporting nourishment and the essence of the season’s vibrance: bright, exciting, fresh and green.

To date I haven’t found a way of preparing asparagus I haven’t liked. Fennel, on the other hand, doesn’t often claim the same universal fondness. That’s something I hope to help change.  Slowly simmering fennel mellows its anise-like profile, allowing it to create a subtle yet complex backdrop for the forward flavors of asparagus and fresh thyme.

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Traditional creamed soups tend to rely on dairy products and starchy vegetables such as potatoes to create the combo of softness + richness that’s so palate pleasing. This recipe uses blended extra virgin olive oil and tender-cooked fennel to provide those same elements of comforting creaminess for satisfying spoonfuls without the traditional heaviness.

By preparing this soup with fresh thyme leaves at two different stages, the full flavor and medicinal properties of the antimicrobial herb are harnessed for health and enjoyment.

How? Well, the volatile oils in herbs actually hit their peak aromatic and medicinal properties after about ten to fifteen minutes of heating. Additionally steaming extra thyme just before serving creates an extra sensual soup, and provides more herbal health benefits.

 

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This nourishing Spring soup’s ingredient list is deceivingly simple given the aromatic depth of flavor it delivers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole fennel, stems and fronds included
  • 12 oz fresh or frozen asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1  1/2 cups bone stock for Instant Pot or 4 cups stock for stove top (substitute veggie stock if vegetarian or vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Method for Instant Pot Pressure Cooker:

  1. Roughly chop the fennel and asparagus into large pieces and place inside the pressure cooker.
  2. Add in the stock and 1 tablespoon of the fresh thyme leaves.
  3. Pressure cook for 30 minutes and then let out the steam.
  4. Add in the second tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves and stir to mix them in.
  5. Shut the lid and allow the leaves to be steamed for 10 minutes on the “keep warm” setting.
  6. Turn off the Instant Pot and transfer the contents to a blender along with salt and olive oil. Blend until the soup is smooth and creamy.
  7. Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of thyme leaves (if you’re feeling fancy.) Then give thanks and enjoy!

FFframe2.5thFAS.70Method for Stove Top Cooking:

  1. Roughly chop the fennel and asparagus into large pieces and place inside a large pot with a well fitting lid.
  2. Add 4 cups stock and 1 tablespoon of the fresh thyme leaves.
  3. Bring to a boil and place the lid on the pot. Boil for 40 minutes, yes 40. The fennel stems are a bit tough so to make this soup dreamy-creamy they need a long cooking time.
  4. Add in the second tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves and stir to mix them in.
  5. Turn off the heat and put the lid on again, allowing the thyme leaves to steam for 10 minutes. The volatile oils in herbs hit their peak aromatic and medicinal properties after about 10 minutes of heating. By steaming extra thyme before serving you can create an extra sensual soup, while getting the most health benefits out of your herbs.
  6. Transfer the soup to a blender along with salt and olive oil. Blend until the soup is smooth and creamy.
  7. Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil and thyme leaves, give thanks, and enjoy!

Notes:

  • If you’ve got extra fennel fronds on hand after making my Oven Roasted Fennel Fries, you can add them to this recipe.
  • This soup is also great served cold  with added chunks of avocado for a super simple second meal. Make a double batch and you’ll have effortless leftovers!
  • If you’ve got extra thyme after making this recipe try steeping for 10 minutes to make thyme tea. Thyme contains powerful anti-microbial properties and supports bronchial heath.

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Holistic Inspiration:

Before eating give yourself three minutes to check in with yourself. Where is there tension? Tightness? Pain or discomfort? Let those parts of you know that this soup’s for them. Because you see them, because you accept them, and because you love them. Let every part of you be nourished by every spoonful. Let this season be one of renewal and growth as you invite in the essence of Spring.

May you eat well, live well, be well!     Xx Kat

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” ~ Anne Bradstreet

 

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3 thoughts on “Thyme Scented Creamy Fennel & Asparagus Soup

  1. Thank you! I was almost thinking it was too late in the season to post an asparagus soup, haha. Because asparagus is SO good for our livers, I eat it as often as I can. I hope you enjoy my recipe, and that your body thanks you for it! Xx

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