You’re right: Cabbage isn’t attractive. But or, is it? The fennel and cabbage have just met and are now inseparable. This soup is the beginning of a love affair between fennel and cabbage. This soup, made with Italian seasonings and fresh fennel and lentils, is light, satisfying, spicy, and savory!
This easy, quick meal is perfect for a weeknight at home! Grab your spoon – soup is on!
Then, we add kale and cabbage, which gives this soup a boost in greens to nourish. (Hello, folate and fiber, potassium, and vitamins C, B6, and K). This soup is packed full of nutrients!
It’s time to add the main flavoring ingredients: Garlic, red pepper flakes, smoked and fennel seeds.
Lentils and potatoes are the perfect addition to fiber and heartiness. All of this is simmered in tomato and vegetable broth until it’s tender.
If oil is not available, use twice as much water.
One large onion peeled, finely chopped (3 cups or 225g per large onion)
The fennel bulb is trimmed and then finely chopped. (Or substitute two celery stalks // 1 medium bulb will yield 2 cups chopped or about 210g).
Peel and finely chop two large carrots (3/4 cup or 90g)
Half a teaspoon of each black pepper and sea salt
Green cabbage, 6 cups, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
Use more cabbage if you prefer, but we like the color and texture that the kale adds.
Three cloves garlic, minced
Crush 1 Tbsp of fennel seed in a pestle and mortar or spice mill.
Smoked paprika, one heaping tablespoon
Red pepper flakes: 1/2-1 tablespoon (to taste).
8 cups vegetable stock or store-bought
Peel and chop one medium-sized yellow potato into chunks of 1/2-inch. (This yields about 3 cups or 300g).
1 (15 oz.) Can crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup dry green lentils
Heat the oil over a medium flame in a large saucepan. Once the oil is hot, add onion, celery (or fennel) and carrot. Stirring occasionally, saute the vegetables for 8 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Don’t turn up the heat to make it faster, or else the vegetables won’t become as sweet.
Sauté the cabbage (if using) and kale, if you are using it, for five more minutes or until the kale is wilted. Stir in the fennel seed, smoked pepper flakes, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Continue to cook for another minute until the fennel seed aroma is present.
Stir in the lentils, tomato paste, potatoes, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, cover the pot (with the lid slightly open), and simmer for 30-40 mins on medium-low or until lentils are soft but not mushy.
Add more salt to taste for a stronger flavor or red pepper flakes for heat.
Top the bowls with a drizzle or two of olive oil, and sprinkle on vegan Parmesan. Serve with Garlic Bread or Focaccia Bread.
In a sealed container, leftover soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. It can also be kept in the freezer for up to one month.