Roasting veggies gives them a richer flavor and more luxurious texture. I love the subtle, warm flavor of leeks. To toast the walnuts for the garnish, either spread them on a baking sheet and bake in a 300° oven until they slightly darken in color, about 7 minutes. Or, toss them in a sauté pan over medium-high heat and keep the pan moving until they turn your desired color. You’ll be able to smell the nuttiness. Remove from pan or baking sheet immediately or else they’ll keep toasting. This recipe is from Eat. Tast. Heal. — An Ayurvedic Guidebook and Cookbook for Modern Living, a really great cookbook that is also a fantastic and easy-to-understand introduction to ayurveda and ayurvedic eating.
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped leeks
- 2 cups sliced fennel bulb
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 5 bay leaves
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp organic heavy cream
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Spread the leeks in a lightly oiled baking dish and roast them until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Put the fennel in a large saucepan along with the water, stock, lemon juice, basil, paprika, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in the roasted leeks and continue simmering for 20 minutes.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves. Ladle the soup into a blender, add the cream, and blend until pureed. (Be careful to keep the lid of the blend open just a crack to let out the heat.) Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into individual heated bowls and garnish with toasted walnuts.
About the Author
Rochelle Barcellona is an animal-loving, family-and-friends-embracing, yoga-meditation-and-ayurveda-teaching, happy red-headed yogi who owns Nourish Mind Body & Spirit in Northern California. You may learn more about Rochelle here. Rochelle may be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and 916-353-5200.
(Photo of Rochelle courtesy of Bella Barcellona Photography.)