Roasted Fennel Bisque with Toasted Walnuts
This recipe was adapted from http://www.epicurious.com
2 Large bulbs fennel, quartered
1 Tbs. organic canola oil
1 Tbs. ghee
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 white or yellow onion
2 Cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 Cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock, if you prefer)
Healthy splash sherry vinegar
1 Cup half and half (or whole milk)
1 Cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped, divided
Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss fennel with 1 tablespoon oil and sea salt. Roast fennel on a baking sheet until tender and golden brown, about 25-ish minutes.
While fennel is roasting, heat ghee in a stock pot over medium-low flame. Add onion, stirring to coat with ghee. Cover pot and cook the onions for about 5 minutes, until translucent and lightly browned. Add potatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer until the potatoes are fully cooked (20 minutes-ish).
Puree mixture until smooth. Add sherry mixture and the half and half to reach the desired texture of the soup.
Allow fennel to cool, then dice. Add to potato mixture, then return to simmer. Stir in 1/2 the walnuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle soup into warm bowls. Sprinkle with remaining walnuts and freshly ground black pepper.
*Variations: Would be very tasty with sauteéd mushrooms and/or dark chicken meat. Could even add a hint of truffle oil too.
Fennel: In addition to its abounding phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium. It also has a unique licorice-like flavor and a ton of crisp crunch. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.
Ghee: A favorite among Ayurvedic practitioners, said to help cure ailments from tight muscles to memory loss. Ghee is essentially clarified butter that has been separated from the milk solids and saturated fats. I highly recommend replacing your regular butter with this. Read up on the health benefits and nutritional information.
Homemade Chicken Stock: Way more nourishing than it’s store bought counterpart. Great for digestion as well as your joints and connective tissue. Plus it’s easy to make. See here for more health benefits.
Local Raw Milk: This is a VERY touchy subject. So I will leave it to the professionals. See here if you’re interested in learning more about raw milk. Otherwise, good organic milk is a fine alternative.
Onion: Like garlic, onions are high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. They are a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and manganese. They help protect our blood, bone, and connective tissue. See here for other health benefits and nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.
Potatoes: Potatoes come in a bunch of varieties and are a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. When prepared properly (read: NOT french fries or potato chips) they can help protect against cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers. See here for additional health benefits and nutritional info.
Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers, including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.