Potato, Fennel & White Bean Soup with Braised Brussels Sprouts

Potato, Fennel & White Bean Soup with Braised Brussels Sprouts | Project Yum

So it’s still freezing cold out, and I’m still making soup. That is my life update.
And this is a wonderfully wintery soup. As much as I’d love to start thinking of spring being around the corner, the reality is that warm weather is a long way off and it remains firmly winter. I was shopping at the mall yesterday, and found myself in an odd predicament where all the clothes were pastel corals and blues in preparation for spring, yet the thought of buying and wearing any of the light, floral-patterned garments made me shiver. I’ll stick to hibernating in black and grey men’s-sized sweaters, thank you very much.
I mean, I’m not one of those Torontonians that’s constantly weather-obsessed, complaining regardless of the time of year. (Not that I encounter these people often, but I feel like it’s a prevalent stereotype.) I like cloudy days, I like hot weather, I like winter. But this is just ridiculous. I had to get a gym membership just so that I could avoid running outdoors. 
Potato, Fennel & White Bean Soup with Braised Brussels Sprouts | Project Yum
So, back to the soup. What makes it so wintery, you might ask? Well, for one, it’s rich and creamy from the potatoes and milk, which warms and fills up the belly. And the fennel and leek add a nice, earthy note to the stew. Combine that with the browned, slightly caramelized, brown buttered Brussels sprouts and you’ve got one delicious pot of soup for those polar vortex nights.
Potato, Fennel & White Bean Soup with Braised Brussels Sprouts | Project Yum
Potato, Fennel & White Bean Soup with Braised Brussels Sprouts | Project Yum

Potato, Fennel & White Bean Soup with Braised Brussels Sprouts

Recipe adapted from Dash and Bella
Servings: 4-6
Ingredients:
For the soup:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 leek,  diced (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 head fennel, diced
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 anchovies
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 10 medium-sized potatoes, cubed
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
For the Brussels sprouts:

  • 24 Brussels sprouts
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 leek,  diced (white and light green parts only)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
optional toppings:
  • Greek yogurt
  • thick balsamic vinegar
Directions:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add celery, onion, leek, and fennel with a dash of salt and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the anchovies and garlic and cook until the anchovies are dissolved. Add the white wine and cook until the liquid cooks off, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes and veggie broth. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375. Remove the stems of the Brussels sprouts and grate off half of each sprout, setting aside the slaw. Season the exposed halves with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a cast iron skillet until just browned, then place the Brussels sprouts face-down and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Remove the skillet from heat and toss in olive oil, the remaining half leek, and garlic. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are tender and browned. Remove from the oven and toss with parsley, lemon juice, and slaw.
  6. Once the beans are cooked, remove the soup from the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend until the soup is smooth. Add in milk and stir to combine. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve topped with Brussels sprouts, Greek yogurt, and balsamic drizzle.
Note: For a fully vegetarian recipe, omit the anchovies from the soup.
Potato, Fennel & White Bean Soup with Braised Brussels Sprouts | Project Yum
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