Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lunch Box: Fennel-Potato Soup with Black Beans

This soup is one of those dishes that is honestly pretty unappealing to look at, but that is amazing once you taste it! So, you should definitely give it a chance.  The potatoes make the soup super creamy, and the fennel adds a fun and unexpected flavor.  Black beans give the soup some protein so that it will keep you going all afternoon.  And finally, fennel and mustard seeds sizzled in hot oil are just totally delicious.  Add a lemon-y salad or a hunk of bread on the side if you like, although I actually found this soup pretty filling on its own for lunch.

Fennel-Potato Soup with Black Beans (adapted from Bal's Spice Kitchen)
Serves 4

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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1 comment:

  1. I know Sara, there are some meals that look like ass but taste so good! I wish I liked fennel - this looks delicious though - and you know how I love soup!