This is great for a warm day is soothing on the belly. It’s light and cooling, with a nice touch of sweet, pungent and bitter qualities. Fresh herbs would work perfectly – for the flavor I wanted I only had dry herbs on hand. Also, if you enjoy the flavor of fennel, I suggest adding ½ teaspoon or more of crushed fennel to stock.
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb with stalks, coarsely chopped, stalk ends and fronds set aside
- 3 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced and cleaned
- 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped and divided
- 1 small red potato, diced
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- ½ tsp dried fennel, crushed
- 3 pinches dried summer savory
- 3 small pinches dried rosemary
- ½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped, and more for garnish
- ½ raw pumpkin seeds
- ½ tsp Aleppo pepper (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, sauté leeks in olive oil until the leeks start to soften. Meanwhile, in another pot, heat stock, water, fennel ends and fronds, fennel seed, 1/3 of celery and chopped parsley on medium heat.
To leeks, add fennel, fennel stalks and remaining celery. Cook until fennel starts to soften, approximately 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Add potato and a generous pinch of salt. Stir then add all the contents from the pot with the stock. Add the summer savory and rosemary and bring to a boil. Once it boils, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 25 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, lightly toast the pumpkin seeds in a skillet for 1 or two minutes. Immediately remove and pulverize in a food processor. Add a ladle of liquid from the soup to saturate the pumpkin seeds and set aside.
Remove large pot from heat and add the pumpkin seed mixture. Blend soup well with an immersion blend or transfer to a blender. Add Aleppo pepper if using and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley.