This is the time of year when I love making and eating soup, and apparently so does everyone else because January is National Soup Month. This past weekend I had a big pot simmering on the stove while Etienne and I played with the girls in the living room and it made our whole apartment feel warm and cozy, despite the frigid weather.
This recipe for Vegan Split Pea, Spinach & Fennel Soup is an original recipe that I created for Vegetarian Times as part of the 1 Food 5 Ways: Fennel article that I wrote for the magazine. The soup makes great use of leftover fennel stalks since most recipes call for using the bulb and tossing the stalks. I added a bit of spinach to the soup to give it a vibrant green color and split peas make this soup filling and a good source of protein.
We have been eating vegan 2 days per week and this split pea, spinach and fennel soup is in the permanent rotation. Below are some of the reviews for this recipe from Vegetarian Times readers, with some great variations.
This vibrant and filling soup makes good use of fennel stalks.
- 2 cups chopped fennel (1 bulb or 5 fennel stalks, fronds removed)
- 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
- 1 cup dry white wine, divided
- 15 oz. dried green split peas
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds, divided
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 oz. baby spinach leaves
- 1. Heat saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add fennel and onion, and sauté 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup wine, and simmer 2 minutes. Add split peas, 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, thyme, bay leaf, and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 2. Add remaining 1/2 cup wine, and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes, or until split peas are tender. Stir in spinach, and cook 2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.
- 3. Remove bay leaf, and purée soup with immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Toast remaining 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds in small skillet 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Serve soup garnished with toasted fennel seeds.