Let me start this by saying that I’m not a big “kid person.” I heavily admire people who are parents (seriously, you have the hardest job on this planet!), but I’ve never wanted to be one myself. I also work with children and families in my job so I get a pretty good dose of being around kids in my daily life.
And this is precisely why when a friend told me several months ago that I “would make a wonderful mother,” I practically laughed in her face. That’s nice and thank you, but nope, it’s not for me.
She proceeded to tell me that she was convinced someday I would adopt a child from an orphanage. I continued to argue that ain’t ever gonna happen.
This is exactly why this week I had a mental breakdown when I read this blog post by Lindsay at Pinch of Yum. Lindsay and her husband moved to the Philippines for a year to teach at an orphanage. When I saw the pictures of these kids and read her post yesterday, I literally felt an urge from deep inside of my chest to move there and adopt these children. All I could think was, “oh $*%t, it’s happening…”
And so, in order to prevent myself from moving to the Philippines and/or adopting children tonight, I made soup. This may not make a lot of sense, but it seemed like a better choice than hiding in a corner of my kitchen and stuffing my face with cookies from sheer panic.
If you see a cookie recipe posted here tomorrow, please send help.
One of my trademarks with soup is to puree beans in for a source of plant-based protein and to add some general heartiness to the soup. I used garbanzo beans in this batch, but any white bean would also work. Since the fennel and cauliflower were going to be pureed, I dry roasted them without any oil (I have a well-seasoned baking sheet and they didn’t stick), but you can roast them in oil if needed.
- 1 large fennel bulb, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 large head cauliflower, chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans or chickpeas
- Freshly-ground sea salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, divided
- 2 organic lemons, zested, then cut into wedges
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lay fennel and cauliflower flat on sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for five minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 1 - 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the roasted fennel and cauliflower, vegetable broth, and garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.
- Add one tablespoon fresh dill and blend the soup by using an immersion blender or transferring it to a regular blender. (If using a regular blender, be very careful as the steam can sometimes cause the lid to blow off. I recommend blending small batches while holding the lid down with a pot holder or towel in hand.)
- Before serving, add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish bowls with remaining fresh dill, lemon zest, a drizzle of olive oil, and serve with lemon wedges.