Spiced Carrot and Fennel Soup

This soup goes out to my mother-in-law, who loves carrots and a good spice blend.  When she comes to visit, I always try to think of a seasonably appropriate way to incorporate carrots into our menu for the week.  So as I tossed this idea around in my head, I couldn't help but think, "My mother-in-law would love this soup."

Slightly sweet, crunchy, and loaded with vitamin A, carrots are a crowd-pleaser.  And ras el hanout is the perfect spice blend to bring out the best in them.  While there are markedly different blends of this North African spice, I opted for one that was heavy in coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.  All of these seemed like the perfect compliment to carrots and fennel.  And I have to say, it really worked out!

Enjoy this soup with a bit of vegan sour cream on top.  Or y'know, with your mother-in-law ;)

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Spiced Carrot Fennel Soup

1 medium onion, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp ras el hanout 

2 ½ cups carrots, chopped

2 ½ cups, fennel, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cube fake chicken bouillon

2 13.5 ounce cans of lite coconut milk

½ tsp crushed red pepper

¼ cup + 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Salt

1. In a large heavy pot or a dutch oven, sauté onion in olive oil with a dash of salt for ~4 minutes.  Add ras el hanout, and sauté for 3 more minutes.  Add garlic, carrots, and fennel, and cook over low for 3-5 minutes.

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2. Add coconut milk, bouillon, and crushed red pepper.  Cover with a lid, and simmer over low for 35-40 minutes.

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3. Remove from heat.  Either puree with hand blender (shown above), or put into blender.  Blend until smooth.  Stir in lemon juice.  Taste, and adjust seasonings (more salt, etc).  Serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream.

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