This beet and fennel soup recipe isn’t just a great winter dish, but also fantastic year-round. It only requires a handful of ingredients, and couldn’t be simpler to make. Enjoy!
I love soups. I’ve written before about how I love one-pot dishes because I love chucking ingredients all in together in one go to make a simple, hearty dish, full of flavor. For me soups aren’t much different, and neither is this beet and fennel take on the dish.
I got this recipe from Mickey and Angie over at AutoimmuneWellness.com, so all credit to them. Be sure to check them out!
At the center of this beautiful recipe are beets (or beetroot as we say in the UK). It took me a really long time to warm up to them. I’ve always known they’re healthy and regarded as a superfood, but didn’t really enjoy any dish that they featured in.
I used to have a girlfriend whose family originated from Eastern Europe, and so borscht made regular appearances at family meals. Truth be told, it didn’t really do it for me.
So what swung me round? Funnily enough, it was a beetroot and goats cheese salad. I say ‘funnily enough’… it should come as no surprise that the presence of cheese would be the clincher! And now I’m fully on board the beetroot train.
Both Mickey and Angie are far more qualified than I am to talk about the health benefits associated with the ingredients in this recipe, so I’ll leave that to them.
This recipe, not a million miles away from borscht, is the epitome of everything beautiful about beetroot. Its rich, creamy, sweet, and has a delicious texture to it. The fennel and ginger in it gives it a fantastic and sharp aftertaste, helping the flavors linger in the mouth.
It’s also really easy to make. Like most soups, it does need a good amount of time to simmer for the flavors and ingredients to blend, but beyond that your job is relatively easy.
I’ve always been a little bit sceptical of soups that need some assistance from the blender. Not so much from help with an immersion blender – I’ve done that a few times before with pumpkin soups – but rather transferring the entire thing to a blender has always struck me as a bit strange. In the case of this recipe however, it really helps to break down the cooked beets, and give it that beautiful blended texture.
Expert Cooking Tips
- The original recipe listed bone broth in its ingredients. I’m not a huge fan of bone broth, and I want to provide a vegetarian-friendly ingredient for what is ultimately a vegetarian dish. I have used vegetable broth here to help provide the liquid element of broth, while I’ve also used cornstarch to help provide the thickening properties that bone broth would give the soup. The health benefits associated with the collagen in bone broth are a bit difficult to replicate, but nonetheless the vegetable broth will help create a lovely base for your soup, and give you a means of thinning it out if it gets too thick.
- I have suggested one tablespoon of cornstarch in the recipe, but if you find that it hasn’t thickened the soup enough then do add more. Just be careful to add it gradually, as it can take a few moments to take effect.
- If you don’t have a good blender then get one! They’re a lifesaver, and soups are a great example of just why.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s get into it!
Vegan beet and fennel soup is often made as a winter warmer type of soup. However, it is versatile enough to enjoy throughout the year. It is made of beetroot and fennel as the main ingredients. It tastes a lot more like beetroot than anything else, with just a hint of fennel.
Beetroot Health Benefits
There are numerous health benefits that you get from beetroot, so this soup is so nutritious. Beetroot may help to lower blood pressure. This is because it is rich in nitrates. Nitrates help improve the flow of blood throughout the body, and they help relax the vessels, which reduces stress on the heart. As such, they are good for the health of your heart.
Beetroot may also help to give you a boost of energy. Athletes widely use it for this purpose. It may also help to improve your digestive health. Beetroot is very rich in glutamine and amino acids, and fiber, which help with the health of your gut. Beetroot also has some anti-inflammatory properties. As such, it is often used for people with inflammation problems.
Fennel Health Benefits
Just like beetroot, fennel is a vegetable. It also has fantastic health benefits. Some of these include helping the good health of your skin. It has beta carotene in it, which is good for your skin. It is converted into vitamin A and vitamin C in the body. These are both important for the production of collagen and also tissue repair.
It may also help to keep up the good health of your heart. It’s a great source of fiber, potassium, and folate. The nutrients in fennel help to lower blood pressure and also to lower the occurrence of bad cholesterol. The other unexpected benefit is that fennel may help control weight. It has a low glycemic index, and as such, this helps in managing weight. For pregnant women, fennel may help to reduce anemia.
- Beets. You will need 2 pounds of peeled beetroot. Cut these up into chunky bits that measure about 1 ½ inches.
- Fennel – you will need one bulb of fennel fresh. Then slice it into thin slices.
- Fennel fronds – these will be used for garnishing.
- Garlic – you will need two cloves of minced garlic. The garlic helps enhance flavor.
- Ginger – 1 inch of minced ginger will help give the soup some heat and a bit of a kick.
- Coconut oil – you will need two tablespoons of coconut oil
- Vegetable broth – you will need 3 cups. You can also use bone broth instead. However, this won’t work for a vegan dish.
- Bay leaf – Add one dried bay leaf to the start of the recipe for added aroma and taste. If you need a bay leaf substitute, dried thyme or rosemary both infuse similar flavors for slow-cooked soups.
Can I Make This Soup in Batches?
Yes, you can make this soup in batches. The best thing to do is to portion the soup into amounts that you think you are more likely to use at a time. This way, you only thaw out what you need at a time. You can store and refrigerate the soup for a couple of more days or freeze it.
How to Store Leftover Beet Soup
Store the beet and fennel soup in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will last for up to 4 days.
Can I Freeze It?
You can freeze beet and fennel soup by putting it in an airtight container in the portion sizes that you are more likely to use at a time. It will be suitable for the next three months.
How to Thaw and Reheat Leftover Beet Soup
Reheating soup is pretty simple. You can place it in the fridge overnight and then partially in the microwave the next day. When it is partially heated, you can then gently heat it in a saucepan. Use a toothbrush or a small brush to do this.
Make sure to keep watch over it to ensure that the fabric doesn’t get damaged, and rinse it quickly with water. This process is known as pretreatment, and it will often loosen the stain. Then make a detergent and water solution, using one tablespoon of detergent and 3 cups of water. Flush the garment from the underside of the garment. Once this is all done, you can machine wash the garment as you normally would do.
If this doesn’t do the trick, you can use an enzyme-based stain remover. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, usually, and then wash the garment as usual.
How to Remove Beet Stains From Clothing
Beetroot stains can be a headache and hassle, usually, but they can be washed out. The first port of call is to apply lemon juice to the stained part of the fabric before washing it.
Topping Ideas for the Soup
You can top the soup with fennel fronds, fresh cream, or fresh herbs such as rosemary.
How to Thicken Beet Soup
You can use cornstarch to thicken beet and fennel soup if it’s too thin. Make sure that you add the cornstarch gradually, a bit at a time so that you don’t over-thicken it or alter the taste too much.
How to Thin Beet Soup
You can thin beet and fennel soup by adding water to the soup, also a bit at a time. Making sure that you don’t thin it out too much.
Serving & Side Dish Ideas
Sour cream – it adds contrast in color to the beet soup and also adds flavor. One tablespoon of cream in a bowl should work.
You can also serve this soup with apple kale salad.
Pulled Pork Cabbage and Arugula Salad
You can also have it with pulled pork. The savory taste of the pork pairs well and is an excellent contrast to the flavors in the soup. The salad also has cabbage, arugula, carrots, cilantro, and a citrus vinaigrette, which gives a zingy twist to it all.
Beet and Fennel Soup
- 2 lbs beets peeled and cut into 1½-inch chunks
- 1 fennel bulb sliced thinly
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger minced
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp salt
- fennel fronds for garnish
- Heat up coconut oil in a large cooking pot over medium heat.
- Sauté the fennel for about 5-10 minutes, or until if softens.
- Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for a further 3-4 more minutes, stirring continuously.
- In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch into the vegetable broth.
- Add the beets, vegetable broth with cornstarch, bay leaf and salt. Bring to boil, cover, and allow to simmer. Leave for about an hour, or until beets are tender.
- Transfer mix to a blender or food processor. Blend until you achieve a soup-like consistency. Add more broth if you need to thin it out a bit more, or a little bit of cornstarch if you need it thicker.
- Serve warm, and garnish with fennel fronds.