Asparagus & Fennel Soup with Cumin-spiced Lotus Chips Recipe
I love finding new ways to experiment with less-common ingredients. Fennel and asparagus are two vegetables that deserve their show-stopping reputation. This soup combines their flavours beautifully and is a unique affair that will linger hours after consumption. The crunchy pepitas, cheesy nutritional yeast flakes and fresh herbs on top offer a special little adornment that will heighten your joy factor while embellishing a lovely light lunch.
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 450g asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed, sliced on the diagonal into 2.5cm lengths
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 750mL vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 270mL coconut milk (optional)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 75g toasted pumpkin seeds
- Mint & basil leaves, to serve
- Cumin-spiced Lotus Root Chips
- 300g fresh lotus root (see tip), peeled & sliced paper-thin
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper, set aside.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the fennel, spring onions and garlic, and cook for 2–3 mins until softened.
- Add the asparagus, spinach, stock, vinegar, lemon zest and juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 mins.
- Meanwhile, make the lotus chips.
- In a medium bowl, toss the lotus root with the avocado oil and cumin until well coated.
- Spread out on the prepared baking tray and bake for 10–12 mins, until golden brown and crisp.
- Season with salt then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely — they’ll harden as they cool.
- Allow soup mixture to cool slightly, then transfer to a blender, add the coconut milk and blend until smooth. Return to the pan to warm through.
- Ladle into bowls and top with lotus chips, nutritional yeast flakes, pepitas and fresh herbs.
- Tip: Lotus root is available fresh in Asian supermarkets and some grocery stores.
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