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This is a lovely delicate green soup that is so easy and versatile, so clean and healthy, that I’m astonished people ever use tinned soups at all. This recipe takes about 20 minutes to set up followed by maybe 40 minutes at the simmer, and then five minutes to put it through the food processor – so an hour or so, start to finish.
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
1 cup (2-3 stalks) celery, sliced or diced
1 medium or half a large potato, skin on, cut into small cubes
1 medium fennel root — sliced; mince the stems and leaves and set aside for later
1 medium courgette/zucchini, cut in half lengthways, then sliced
6 cups vegetarian broth – I like Better than Bouillon made up with hot water
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, fresh herbs to taste
Light olive oil or vegetable oil for the initial cooking
1. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a covered heavy cast iron pan such as Le Creuset. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until transparent, stirring from time to time.
2. Add the celery and potato; continue to sauté the mixture over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
3. Add the fennel and cook, stirring, for two minutes.
4. Turn down the heat and add the broth (or boiling water and a stock cube). Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes over low heat. Add the sliced courgette/zucchini, cover the pot, and let simmer until the zucchini is just cooked, 5-10 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool for half an hour or so.
6. Run the soup through a food processor until smooth. You’ll probably have to do it in three lots. Add some of the fennel stalks and leaves, three ladles-full of soup, and process the heck out of it. Repeat for the remaining two thirds.
7. If it’s thicker than you’d like add a bit more broth and process again. If you prefer a creamier flavor, add plant milk instead of broth.
8. Return to the pot; taste and correct the seasonings. Five minutes before you are ready to serve, gently bring the soup to just below the simmer, stirring occasionally.
9. Serve sprinkled with fresh herbs, and if desired, with a dollop of heavy cream.
10. Store in the fridge for up to five days, or pop any leftovers in the freezer.