My good friend, Kelli, told me about this soup that her dad, Paul, made for her family and how much they all loved it! Yesterday was a perfect, soup-kind-of-day so I pulled up the e-mail she sent to me and set to work vegan’izing it. See the original recipe uses chicken & chicken broth but I wanted to keep it plant based so I took a couple liberties with substitutions, adding barley and wild rice to it (whereas the barley is optional in the original).
I was blown away with how good it turned out. It’s easy to pull together, cooks up fast, and unlike my first attempt at a plant-based soup (that smelled like something died in it) this smelled amazing and it was so easy to go back for a second helping. I’d never had leeks before and am still a fennel noob, so I was a little apprehensive, once again turning to You-tube to figure out how to cut the leeks (easy peasy) – so that’s my tip for this recipe. Trust me, try it, you won’t regret it!
I had some leftover cornbread from a batch of vegan chili we had the other night so I broke it into chunks and tossed that on top for lunch today – perfection!
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 5-6 leeks cleaned and sliced
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, diced
- 2 fennel plants, (each plant has 2 bulbs) bulbs cleaned and sliced
- 8 large mushrooms, sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoons ground thyme
- 68 oz. vegetable stock
- 1 cup of rice
- 1 cup wild barley
- 2 handfuls of fresh cleaned spinach, roughly chopped
- In a large stock pot add the olive oil, carrots, leeks, garlic, sliced fennel bulbs & mushrooms. Sauté for 5 – 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper & thyme.
- Add vegetable stock, thyme, rice and barley to the mixture then bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- Near the end of the simmer, add the fresh spinach leaves.