Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Carrot, Fennel & Ginger Soup for a Happy Tummy & Mouth!

Time for a reality check, Happy Tummies. In my UC flare, there are often time extra-intestinal manifestations of the disease. Since it is an autoimmune disease, there can be other physical symptoms, besides just the ulcers on your intestines, since my messed up, hyper-active immune system controls every part of my body!
Well, my extra-intestinal (I always think they’re saying extraterrestrial :) ) symptoms are *almost* worse than the disease. My knees have lumps all over them, making them 3-4x their normal size, and it’s spreading to my ankles. This is making it excruciating to walk. These bumps are known aserythema nodosum. Finally, my mouth has 7 open wounds/ulcers, making it nearly impossible to eat. Therefore, we made this soup for dinner tonight, since no chewing was required. Even though it’s just a humble pot of soup, it was delicious, and hit the spot.
happy tummy and mouth meal:)
Here’s what you need.
1 bulb of fennel, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced
7 carrots, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 inch piece of ginger, sliced
1 small honeycrisp apple, diced
3 1/2 cups veg stock
1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
so smooth and creamy!
In a dutch oven or soup pot, saute your onions, fennel and carrots in 1 tsp EVOO with salt and pepper. Let them cook for about 7 or 8 minutes, until they are tender. Then, stir in your garlic and ginger. Let that cook for about 2 minutes. Then add apples, and stir for just a minute.  Then add in your stock, and make sure all the veggies are covered (the apples will float). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a healthy simmer and let cook, partially covered for 35-ish minutes, until the carrots are fork tender. Then, turn off the heat and blend with a stick blender until smooth and creamy. Stir in your almond milk, and garnish with chopped chives. Y-U-M!
bright, sweet, spicy, and packed with nutrition!
With this soup, my mom and I had a treat since it was just us “girls” tonight. We had halibut fillets! Oh my Gosh. Lobsta Bakes hooked us up!!! We each had a *gorgeous* wild, ocean-caught halibut fillet. This is my mom’s favorite fish…and one of my top 3! It is so delicately flavored, and so light and flakey. Truly succulent.
outstanding halibut and socca bread
I also made Socca bread…which wasn’t great. A bit of a flop — 1/3 cup chick pea flour, 1/3 cup water, 1 tsp EVOO, salt, pinch of cumin. Cook in frying pan. Flavorless…not worth the time. Just being honest! It probably would have been better with more spices….next time I’ll increase the cumin to 1 or 2 tsp; or instead of cumin, maybe curry powder.
gorgeous color and flavor!
Other than that GF bread, this meal was outstanding. The soup was so amazing. Not only was it a gorgeous orange color, but it was BURSTING with flavor! It was bright, and sweet and a little bit spicy! The fennel had a wonderful anise flavor that paired so nicely with the sweet carrots and apple. That sweet undertone was complimented perfectly by the slight spiciness from the ginger, and the savory garlic that subtly chimed in at the end. Garnished with the slight onion-y chives made this soup a 10!
I wouldn't have been able to achieve this creamy consistency without my stick blender. I LOVE this tool...it makes it so you don't have to transfer the soup to a blender! I also was able to use my mom's Le Creuset dutch oven. I love this pot. It's a bit of an investment, but is lovely because you can brown and caramelize in it, as well as go from the stove, to the oven, to the table! Here are the tool I use:

Have a great week!

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