This soup takes advantage of several of my California winter favorites: sweet carrots, fennel, bunch onions, and green garlic, accented with fresh citrus zest. I love clementine zest, but orange zest works well too. Green garlic is fresh dug immature garlic and comes in bunches like scallions. You can tell them apart because the leaves of green garlic are flat like those of leeks rather than round like those of scallions. The soup tastes good chilled, though on a cold winter day I prefer to serve it hot. If your carrots came with fresh green tops, use them to make a pesto and serve the soup with toasted sourdough slices spread with carrot top pesto.
Ingredients – Makes about 2 quarts
- 3 Tbs – olive oil
- 2 bunch onions(white and pale green parts only. Save the green tops to make vegetable stock.)
- 1 sliced fennel bulb, fronds reserved for garnish
- 4 cups fresh winter carrots (use the sweetest carrots you can find), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 stalk green garlic, or 2 cloves garlic + 1 Tbs garlic chives
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- ½ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
- Grated zest from 2 to 3 Algerian Clementines
- 1 cup whipping cream or coconut cream if you want to keep the soup vegan
- chopped fennel fronds
- Sauté the onions in the oil until translucent.
- Add the fennel and carrots, and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- If you have green garlic, remove the coarse leaves. Use those to make vegetable stock. Add the white and pale green part to the soup, reserving some of the tender green section to chop and add to the soup after it is cooked.
- Add the garlic, vegetable stock, salt, and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Blend the soup, adding cream and clementine zest.
- Verify seasonings, adding salt and pepper and more zest and green garlic if desired, and pour into warm bowls.
- Top with fennel frond and a little orange zest.