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Tag: soup (page 1 of 1)

Fennel Soup for the Soul

I wonder if people realize what a grand little vegetable the fennel is. How light and refreshing its flavor is, almost minty and summery, how it asserts itself with zero support from any strong spices, how cooling it is to the system…

Fennel soup is one of the simplest soups ever, relying on the sweet-savory flavor of fennel that is equal parts refreshing and enlivening. You can choose to take this soup in whatever direction you wish, spice-wise. I used salt, pepper, a smidgen of dried oregano. Previously, I have made this soup with dried thyme too and the results were oh-so satisfying and nourishing.

Fennel Soup


1 fennel bulb
a couple of glugs of extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
dried oregano


  1. Chop fennel into small-medium pieces. Use the stalks and fronds if tender. Else, discard them and only use the bulb.
  2. Warm a couple of glugs of extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan. Add the chopped fennel, salt, pepper and oregano. Stir well.
  3. Allow the fennel to cook on medium heat. Stir intermittently. Keep the lid on, so the heat is retained and the fennel cooks down faster.
  4. As soon as the fennel begins to soften and turn translucent, you can turn the heat off. Keep the lid on, so the fennel cooks down even more.
  5. After a few minutes, when the cooked fennel is sufficiently cool, blend it to a chunky consistency using an immersion blender. You can also use a regular blender. You can also blend it to a thin consistency, if you like.
  6. Add water, bring to a boil. Add salt, if necessary.
  7. Turn heat off.


Fresh To Order

The world of Twitter got me in touch with the lovely Sucheta Rawal from Go Eat Give, an innovative website/blog that combines three great passions of people – food, travel and service. We met for lunch at Fresh To Order. Despite it being Friday lunch hour, we got seats easily. If it wasn’t for the rain, we would have sat on the patio.

The conversation was illuminating, the food was nice too! The online menu didn’t show many vegetarian options (probably just one) but Sucheta pointed me to some others in the menu handout. She picked the Club Salad that combined mixed greens, toasted almonds, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, cheese, golden raisins and cranberries. The salad usually includes bacon but Sucheta asked for seared tofu instead. She mentioned that she orders it often; so I am guessing that it’s a good pick. I picked the Soup + Salad combination that included Wild Mushroom Soup and Tomato Mozzarella Sandwich (fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, whole leaf basil, tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette).

The soup was wonderful! I am happy that it was a half portion; eating an entire bowl would have probably weighed me down all day long. Mushrooms are heavy to digest. In fact, they are regarded as Tamasic in nature; they can aggravate all three Dosha imbalances, I have heard. In any case, mushrooms are an occasional indulgence for me. I don’t cook with them and hardly ever order them when we eat out. I have to admit, even with half a bowl, my tummy felt unusually heavy post-lunch. Not sure if it was the cream (assuming the soup contained cream) or the mushrooms themselves… But I thoroughly enjoyed the soup. The sandwich was nice as well. There was a generous stuffing of roasted red peppers in there, and the whole leaf basil added a fresh flavor to the sandwich. Neither was the balsamic vinaigrette too strong, and the fresh mozzarella tied all the tastes together with its creaminess.

At the cafeteria at my older workplace, the menu used to feature Roasted Red Pepper and Mozzarella Sandwich with Balsamic Vinaigrette. It used to be my favorite lunch option those days.

I can see myself going to F2O again, if only to sample the salad Sucheta ordered – it looked delicious!

Fresh To Order
1260 Cumberland Mall
Atlanta GA 30339

Fresh To Order - f2o on Urbanspoon

Sweet Potato Bisque from Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is a favorite store of mine. I love their product assortment and how it keeps changing through the months. They have a decent array of vegetables and fruits, not-every-expensive Medjool dates (YUM!), excellent range of cheeses (some vegetarian and some not – you need to check the ingredient list, as always), lots of delicious stuff to nibble on… the most decadent one possibly being Lacey’s chocolate cookies. Chocolate, honey, caramel…? Maybe. They are such a treat.

As always, I digress. What I wanted to share with you was TJ’s brand of sweet potato bisque. After pouring the soup into a pan for warming, I threw the packet in the trash. And then went right back to take a picture. But P forbade me to post a picture of the trash can. So here’s the soup.

It simply needs to be warmed before serving. Surprisingly, this one contains no onions or garlic. Carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, salt. Maybe some other ingredients that I don’t recall.

I threw in some basil leaves while the soup was on the stove. Added some freshly ground black pepper and shredded Parmesan cheese before serving.
Excellent soup. The texture is rich and creamy and it tastes mildly sweet. P loved it totally and said so. Again and again. Well, I had made a fresh batch of pesto that he ladled into his bowl. I think that’s what he really loved, the combination of fresh basil pesto, root vegetables, Parmesan cheese and black pepper. I didn’t taste that version but I can take his word for it!

Next time, I’ll take a picture of the packet before I throw it in the trash!