I really do like this soup. Like I said before, you could end wars with it. How can you go wrong with an aromatic base of onion, celery, carrot, fennel and garlic bathed in a savoury broth? Oh that’s right, if you add potatoes and parmesan rind you’ve just gone form naught to 100 on the flavour scale in about 20 minutes.
I do have a penchant for soups in general because a) they’re ridiculously easy to make that I feel like a faker when they turn out stupendously tasty b) they’re really good for digestive health c) talk about budget friendly my friend, and d) any person watching their weight should be living off soups. Look at the traditional Asian diet for example.
I really don’t want to get into one of my Chinese Medicine digestive rants, but one is coming on….
I can’t urge you enough to eat more soup. It’s like you’ve done the work for your digestion. The environment of the stomach is moist and warm. When you apply the judo method – or “gentle way” – to your diet, weight loss / weight management is effortless. You go with the flow of the natural energy that your digestion craves. Not this stupid Western “make your body work harder” bullshit. I’ll stop myself there, but do realise I can go on.
Onto the recipe then…
Fennel, Parmesan & Chickpea Soup
A good slurping of olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 medium potato, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery stick, diced (include the washed leaves)
1 bulb fennel, diced
4 c. water, maybe a slurp more
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed well (or cook your own)
1 x bay leaf
Rind from a chunk of parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil and begin to sweat the onions with a pinch of salt ensuring they don’t brown
- After about 2 minutes, add potato, carrot and celery and fennel with about a minute in between each one and saute with another pinch of salt for 2 minutes, giving the odd stir
- Add the garlic, give a swirl and saute for 20 seconds or so
- Add the water and parmesan rind. Make sure the water is covering vegetables with a good 3 – 4 cm more
- Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer with the lid on for approx 20 mins until vegetables are soft
- Taste for seasoning*. Add more if necessary
- Add the chickpeas, gently simmer with lid on through and serve with lashings of fresh parmesan and fresh parsley
*why do I add salt in so many stages? Isn’t that a lot of salt? Answer: Nup. For starters, if you want anything to taste a-ok, you need salt (which is not your enemy, lets just clear that up right now alright?). So say you add approx 1.5 tsp salt to this here soup. Approximately divide that up into 3 or 4 and use those portions to salt as you go. Not only will you adequately season your dish, you’ll also be enhancing the natural flavours of the ingredients, which come alive with a little salting. You will also avoid that one dimensional salt-sitting-on-the-top-palate thingy that goes on with amateur cooking. So, there you have it. Salt in stages, just taste as you go until you get a feel for how much salt you can use at each stage. It will vary depending on the kind of salt you use. I prefer Celtic Seasalt which is rich in a bunch on minerals has a very intense deep flavour which means you require far less salt that average table salt…because even though it’s not your enemy, too much of anything is.
(Adapted from: Enjoy – New Veg by Nadine Abensur)