Cauliflower and Fennel Soup with Pomegranate and Black pepper

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I really love vegetables, and to experiment with them. And almost never would I go to a store to buy ingredients for a specific recipe, but instead I prefer combining what I have on hand, in my pantry and fridge.

Past few winter seasons I started cooking with cauliflower more than usual, and realized that I can make it in so many  – putting it in soups, risotto, pies… However, only when I think of my mom’s simple cooked cauliflower with breadcrumbs, it takes me back to childhood…

Few days ago I decided to make a cauliflower soup, but a different kind one..and I had some fennel in the freezer…it was clear, it is going to be one lovely, creamy, white soup.

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Do not run off on the mention of cooked cauliflower. I do not like it overcooked either, but when only blanched, steam cooked or previously roasted, it will be very neutral in taste, and perfectly accompanied with different kind of spices, and other veggies with more flavor. If you ask me, fennel is one of those good cauliflower matches. With some lemon juice and olive oil it makes a really nice soup. To give it more character, I added some more black pepper – for spiciness and some pomegranate – for freshness. Enjoy!

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CAULIFLOWER AND FENNEL SOUP WITH POMEGRANATE AND BLACK PEPPER (dairy-free)

– serves 4 –

Ingredients:

½ head of cauliflower (around ¾ pound)

½ big or 1 small fennel bulb (around ½ pound)

1-2 garlic cloves

¼ onion

3-4 cups of vegetable stock (depending on how thick you want the soup)

1 tablespoon freshly squezzed lemon juice

2 tablespoons fennel leaves

4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (add more if you like)

Black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil for roasting cauliflower + 1 tablespoon for soup + more for serving

 

Preparation:

  1. Wash and trim cauliflower, cut it into florets, put on the baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil and put in the oven on 375F for about 12-15 minutes. Turn the oven off when it starts getting color on top.
  2. While cauliflower s in the oven, clean fennel, using only its head. Cut into chunks 1,5-2 inch). Put it together with onion and olive oil in the pan in which you will make soup.
  1. Add garlic, then pour in half of the vegetable stock, and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add roasted cauliflower in the pot together with the fennel, salt and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes until cauliflower is ready (but watch not to overcook it!)
  3. While soup is cooking, clean pomegranate and chop fennel leaves.
  4. When the soup, actually vegetables are done, add lemon juice and black pepper and leave it to cool for a minute or two, before pouring it into your blender. Blend until creamy
  5. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, fennel leaves, pomegranate seeds and freshly ground black pepper. A slice of toasted bread would go nice with it as well.

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