This hearty and nutritious soup is perfect for a cold, wintery day. The aromatic Moroccan spices including cumin, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon provide “warmth” to the recipe. It is also flavored with fennel. Did you know, all parts of fennel are edible? The bulb can be used like an onion; the stalks like celery and the fronds as an herb. Its characteristic licorice flavor comes from “anethole”, which is an anti-inflammatory.
- 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions, diced small
- 1 fennel bulb, diced small
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced small
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 6 cups vegetable broth (can substitute chicken broth)
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas, or 2 (15-ounce cans), rinsed
- 4 tsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (can substitute parsley)
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint, for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onions, fennel, celery and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sweet potato and carrot and sauté another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the cumin, turmeric, salt, coriander, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes and stir for another 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Pour in 1/2 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Spritz the chickpeas with lemon juice, add a pinch of salt, and stir, then add to the pot. Add the remaining 5 1/2 cups of broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Ladle 4 cups of the soup into a blender and process for 1 minute or until velvety smooth. Stir the blended mixture back into the soup and cook over low heat, just until heated through.
- Stir in lemon juice and a few grinds of black pepper.
- Taste; you may want to add a pinch of salt, a drop or so of maple syrup, or a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve garnished with the cilantro and mint.