Fall is such a great time for soup! I find myself always adding a soup recipe into my weekly meal plan these days, and this is one of my go-to’s. It’s fairly quick and easy, and the flavour is great! The cannellini beans give the soup a creamy texture, while the addition of the french toast croutons is something so fun and just makes this soup that much more delicious. Of course, it is from my favourite, Jamie Oliver – Save With Jamie cookbook.
Sweet Fennel Soup with French Toast Croutons
2 cloves garlic
2 yellow onions
2 bulbs fennel
3 cups vegetable broth
1 x 14 oz can of cannellini beans
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 1/2 oz ciabatta or stale bread
4 tsp plain yogurt
Heat a large saucepan on medium heat with a good lug of olive oil.
Finely slice your onions into half rings. Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves. Trim and finely slice your fennel bulbs (make sure to reserve the green herby-tips to top your soup with at the end – they add great flavour!). Add all of these ingredients to the saucepan and give it a good stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the lid and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure to stir every few minutes. Once everything is softened, add in your broth and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for another 20 minutes with the lid off. Use your immersion blender to get the soup as smooth as you’d like – have some fun! If you prefer a chunkier texture, don’t overland. You could throw the whole thing in a blender for a really smooth texture. Season well with salt and pepper.
For the croutons:
In a bowl, add 1 egg, the grated cheddar and the chili flakes. In a mortar and pestle, crush the fennel seeds and add to the bowl as well. Whisk everything together well. Chop or tear your bread into 1″ chunks, throw them into the egg mixture and toss well – i suggest using your hands to scrunch the bread well and soak up all the goodness. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add a splash of olive oil, and throw your croutons in. Fry until golden all over.
Ladle out some soup into bowls and drizzle your plain yogurt over top. Place a few of your french toast croutons on top, add those fennel tops you saved, and even some extra chili flakes if you want extra heat.