Cream of Fennel and Parsnip Soup

PREP: 15 minutes | COOK: 33-38 minutes | YIELD: 8 x 1-cup servings

The slight sweetness of parsnip and mild licorice flavor of fennel are kept in check with the pungent tang of leeks and garlic. This warm and comforting winter soup will definitely be a welcome addition to any holiday get-together.

1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed thoroughly, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 large bulb fennel, plus stalks (if still a ached), chopped; reserve fronds to garnish soup, if available

2 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

¾ tsp (3.75 ml) sea salt

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) white pepper

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) herbes de Provence

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) ground fennel seed

2 cups (480 ml) low-sodium, gluten-free vegetable broth

1 cup (240 ml) low-fat milk, plain unsweetened soy milk or other milk substitute

¼ cup (60 ml) plain low-fat yogurt or plain soy yogurt

½ Tbsp (7.5 ml) fresh lemon juice

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot on medium. Add leeks and fennel and cook until soft and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.

Add parsnips, garlic, salt, pepper, herbes de Provence, fennel seed, vegetable broth and 1½ cups (360 ml) water. Increase heat to bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer 25 to 30 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add milk and yogurt and blend until smooth and creamy. Stir in lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved fennel fronds.