Canadian Thanksgiving is only a month away so I’m starting on my menu and Roasted Fennel Soup with Herbed Crostini is going to make an awesome appetizer! It’s light, flavourful and best of all, can be prepared the day before.
I had never roasted fennel before so the flavor was such a surprise and treat for the senses. This requires little work, other than a bit of stirring, and it tastes almost like a mild licorice candy. When your guests take their first sip they’re likely to say something like, ‘I don’t know what this is but it sure tastes great!’
Roasted fennel would be a great side dish to any grilled or roasted entree. Just ensure the fennel is nice and tender before removing it from the oven, otherwise it can taste woody. The sumptuous aromas this produces will have everyone very hungry!
If you’re having the traditional meal of turkey, dressing, and mashed potatoes this is the perfect appetizer because it’s light and has it’s own distinct flavour. The herbed crostinis can also be made a day before so it’s just a matter of heating your soup and adding them along with some pretty fennel fronds.
If you’re traveling to be with friends and family, roasted fennel soup is perfectly easy to make ahead of time and pack in a cooler.
This post is sponsored by Vitamix and I was thrilled to receive a beautiful new blender from the company to create this soup. Wow, when I opened the gigantic box for this, I was thinking that I would need a license to operate this machine! I was in appliance heaven. It is the Total Nutrition Centre and you can find it in My Kitchen.
Isn’t that a beauty?! The best news is that you will have a chance to win a Vitamix blender in an upcoming Giveaway on September 22! Vitamix is sponsoring a Virtual Friendsgiving Celebration with recipes from myself and 6 other Canadian bloggers. Friendsgiving is the celebration of Thanksgiving dinner with your friends, and is a growing trend among millennials in both the US and Canada. I’m excited to bring you loads of yummy ideas for the holiday!
This blender is so much fun and there will be another Vitamix recipe for you before Thanksgiving as well. It’s a tasty treat with apples – everyone’s favourite!
What do you cook for Thanksgiving? I’d love to see what you and your family get up to in your kitchen. Share your photos with me on Instagram by hashtagging #simplyfreshdinners and I’ll share them with my fellow foodies. Cheers!
NOTE: This post is sponsored by Vitamix but my love for their fabulous products is all my own!
Roasted Fennel Soup with Herbed CrostinisPrint Recipe
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 cup coarsely chopped white onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled (3 if you're a garlic lover)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 28 ounces reduced-sodium organic vegetable broth (chicken broth is good, too)
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup half-and-half, light cream, or evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Ground white pepper
- Kosher salt
- HERBED CROSTINIS
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 small baguette , cut into thin slices (use gluten-free bread if desired)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove fennel stalks, put aside the fronds for garnish. Peel away any outside layers that are dark or discoloured. Use a vegetable peeler to remove small dark spots. Remove core and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Slicing vertically so that the fennel retains it's shape.
Spray a large baking sheet with oil and place fennel slices, onion and garlic on it. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are tender. Remove peels from garlic.
Place roasted vegetables to a large soup pot. Stir in vegetable broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil before reducing heat to medium and simmer covered until potato is tender; about 10 minutes. Cool slightly.
Transfer vegetable mixture, one-third at a time, to a blender. Blend until smooth. Return to soup pot and add half-and-half, pineapple juice, and cumin. Cook over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with white pepper and additional salt.
Preheat broiler. Blend cream and herbs. Brush 1 side of each slice of bread with cream mixture. Season with pepper. Place bread slices on a baking sheet, cream side up. Broil, flipping once, until gold and crisp, about 4 minutes total. You can also saute these if you want them a little less crispy. I tried them both ways and I liked the sauteed best.
Top soup with 1-2 croutons each and fennel fronds.