Fennel-Potato Soup with Black Beans (adapted from Bal's Spice Kitchen)
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (if you use veggie, this will be vegan)
1 T fennel seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
14 or 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1. Heat a generous pour of oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion, and cook, stirring often, until tender (8-10 minutes or so). Add the potatoes and broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are completely tender. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat another generous pour of oil in a non-stick skillet set over medium high heat. When it's hot, add the fennel seeds, mustard seeds, and bay leaf. When the seeds start to pop, season with salt and pepper and add the black beans. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often.
3. Puree the fennel-potato mixture. An immersion blender makes this easy, or you can transfer to a blender in batches (just be very careful with hot soup!). Whichever you use, make sure the soup is as silky-smooth as possible.
4. Remove the bay leaf, and stir the beans and spices into the fennel-potato puree. Reheat if the soup isn't as piping hot as you like it, or pack into containers for lunches and let cool before stashing in the fridge.
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