Soup Days, Day Four: Creamy Fennel Hazelnut Soup {Vegan!}

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I’ve never been great with labels.  There have been occasions when I have watched two friends of mine meet each other for the first time, and it’s odd to watch them putting all the pegs into the appropriate holes about each other.  Occupation, education, hobbies, diet… and depending on the availability of wine, politics.  And sometimes I’ll realize that sitting in on this getting-to-know-you small talk brings out something I didn’t know about a friend.  Like that they’re Hobby Paragliders, or Vegans, Ivy-League grads, Republicans.  Suddenly I see my friend as a new set of eyes would.

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If I put all these little labels on a sheet of paper, I wonder, would I choose be friends with them based on these?  Sometimes the answer is “no”.  But that list doesn’t include things like “Loves to make rap versions of Beatles tunes”, or “does the best impression of Alan Rickman, ever.”

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This soup hates labels, too.  Yes, it’s vegan, but that only occurs to you as an afterthought.  Your main thoughts center around how tasty it is.  The ingredient list is short and each one pulls its weight here.  Fennel for sweetness and body, onion for a little ‘oomph’, arugula for green peppery brightness and, of course, husky little hazelnuts to round out the flavor.  It’s the soup version of a really good Alan Rickman impression.  It’s only after you’ve unabashedly licked your bowl clean and sit back with satisfaction that you’ll think “Wait, was that vegan?”.

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Creamy Fennel Hazelnut Soup {Vegan!}

Hands-On Time:  15 minutes
Total Time:  35 minutes
Serves 4

Gluten-free, all natural, vegetarian, vegan, easy, minimal mess, short ingredient list

Special equipment: immersion blender or standing blender (high-performance blenders such as Vitamix work fantastically here)

Ingredients

½ an onion, diced
1 large fennel bulb, white part only, diced
2 cups (packed) arugula
3 cups vegetable stock
½ cup whole hazelnuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 C

Place hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6 – 8 minutes, checking about halfway thru and shaking the pan to redistribute the nuts.  They are done when the skins have cracked and nuts have some golden, not dark, coloring.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan heat olive oil on medium heat for 30 seconds.  Add fennel and onions and saute for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it gets some golden color.  Reduce to low and allow to cook as you prep hazelnuts in the next step.

To remove skins from cooled hazelnuts, grab a handful and rub together vigorously over the baking sheet.  A little of the skins may remain, which is fine.  Repeat process until all the skins are removed.  Add skinned hazelnuts directly to your saucepan.

Add arugula, vegetable stock, and salt & pepper to taste (based on the seasoning of your vegetable stock), and increase heat to bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

To your soup, ladle into blender, being sure not to overfill container (you may need to do this in batches), or use your immersion blender to blend to the creamiest consistency you can achieve.

Return your mixture to the saucepan and keep on low heat to serve hot with fresh-made croutons.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Fennel, Gluten-free, Hazelnut, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Author:Mae of Little Fig

Food blogger, photographer. I

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  1. Disney Dinner and a Movie: Tangled | Funk's House of Geekery - June 18, 2013

    […] foods referenced in the movie is hazelnut soup, which Mother Gothel says is Rapunzel’s favorite. I found this recipe online to make my own hazelnut soup (except I skipped the fennel since I don’t like it). I […]

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