Carrot, fennel and chickpea soup

Baby it’s cold outside and this soup would have to be the leading contender for the 2012 “Go to soup”. You can see the 2010  “Go to soup” via the link here.


  • 1 large or 2 small leaks, clean and slice
  • 1 fennel bulb, chop in 0.5-1 cm thick slices, include the leaves if you have them
  • 2 medium carrots, chop in 0.5-1 cm thick slices
  • 1 cup of chickpeas, cooked or a 440 g tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp of fennel seeds – roughly ground in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
  • 3 anchovies
  • ½ wine glass of brandy or a full wine glass of white wine
  • Water to cover plus a good quality stock cube or stock to cover
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chop your vegies.  Add the oil and butter to a large saucepan and melt the butter over medium heat.  Sauté the leaks until soft.  Add the fennel seeds and sauté until fragrant.  Add the anchovies and remaining vegetables and chickpeas. Sauté, stirring until the anchovies have broken down and disappeared.  Add the alcohol and sauté until the alcohol has mainly evaporated.  Generously cover with stock, add the soya sauce.  Simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the vegies are soft.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!  It has the most delightful hint of fennel with a background of umami from the anchovies and soya sauce.

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6 Responses to Carrot, fennel and chickpea soup

  1. Debra Kolkka says:

    I love fennel and chickpeas…I’ll be making this.

  2. Wow, what a great recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  3. sybaritica says:

    Anchovy paste is a great idea… it adds a nice depth of taste to lots of things!

    • Bee says:

      Yeah I’ve become a bit anchovy-crazy since I watched some famous TV- food person explaining how it adds that extra umami-ness. I can’t remember who it was though I did hear Jamie Oliver say a version of this last night as I was watching old 30 Minute Meal episodes.

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