If there are two vegetable discoveries I've made in my past year that I've absolutely fallen in love with, it's fennel and leek. Seriously, I wonder how I have made it 25 years without really knowing the existence of these two wonderful veggies. After doing some research on them, I also realized how nutrient-packed both of these are. Tons of fiber, Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Magnesium, Potassium, and so much more--what's not to love about them? On top of that, the taste it amazing.
Funny story about that though. Growing up, fennel seeds were a household staple in any Indian home. You leave an Indian restaurant and there would be the fennel seeds, waiting for you to chomp away. Unless they were completely covered in sugar, there was no way fennel was getting anywhere near me or my digestive system. Fast forward to 1 year ago, and I'm in love. Many say that fennel is an acquired taste, and I'll have to agree. I still prefer the actual plant over the dried seeds, but even then, the seeds are growing on me.
From a medicinal purpose, fennel has so many benefits. It helps in digestion, it's great for the adrenals and kidneys, and can even make a great tea for lactating mothers. Amazing. Even leeks are phenomenal little veggies. With a slight milder flavor than the onion itself, the leaves and the fronds are packed with fiber--a super bonus for the digestive tract. Cooked leeks also help stimulate the digestive/metabolic fire--another point for this beauty.
From a cooking perspective, I love soups. They're super easy to make, and it's a great way to get a bunch of veggies into one dish without anyone even knowing. Fennel and Leek soup is one of my go-tos for almost any time of year. Depending on what you add, it can be a great hearty soup for the fall or winter, or something light and refreshing as we transition from the summer to autumn.
Give this soup a try the next time you're looking for a simple meal to make.
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