This vegan carrot fennel soup recipe is spicy in a warming way, bright from the lemon juice, savory from the fennel bulb, and a bit sweet from the carrots. All in all, it uses few ingredients, cooks up fast, and is very easy to make. And best of all, it tastes absolutely delicious!
Ras el hanout is a North African spice blend. For this recipe, you can use store bought or make your own blend from scratch. While there can be quite a bit of diversity in terms of the spices used and the ratios of those spices, ras el hanout incorporates a good mix of warming spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc. It is often used in stews, tangines, marinades and rubs.
Sometimes, ras el hanout has “hot” spices, like hot paprika, chili peppers, cayenne, or the like. The blend I purchased, Frontier Co-op Ras El Hanout Seasoning Blend, had none of these things. I thought the additional heat would be nice, so I added ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes. Make sure to check your blend for “hot” spices, before adding additional heat with the crushed red pepper flakes. They may not be necessary.
This vegan carrot soup with fennel feels like it works best for spring or fall–really any time there’s a slight chill in the air. I love how it warms you up from the inside.
This recipe serves 4.
Carrot Fennel Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ras el hanout
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste – optional (see note above)
4-5 large carrots, chopped (OR ~2½ cups chopped carrots)
2 medium fennel bulbs, chopped (OR ~2 cups chopped fennel bulb)
2 cups fake chicken broth (I used Better than Bouillon No Chicken Base mixed with water)
13.5 ounce can of lite coconut milk
2-3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste (I used ½ tsp salt)
1. In a large, heavy pot, add onion, garlic, olive oil and a dash of salt. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onions are golden. Add the ras el hanout and crushed red pepper flakes. If it sticks a little, add a little more oil. Saute for 2 minutes over low heat.
2. Stir in the carrots, fennel bulb, broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and cover with a lid. Simmer for ~20 minutes or until the carrots are very soft.
3. Blend all of the soup until it is completely smooth (either use an immersion blender or transport the entire contents of the pot into a blender).
4. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt. Taste, and adjust flavor, if needed (more salt? More lemon?). Serve.