Leek and Fennel Soup with Caraway and Tumeric

// Written By Clark Halpern//

As we push on through these last few grasps of winter trying to keep her icy grip on Chicago, I find myself searching for those bright, light flavors in order to keep onto the hope that spring will soon be here. With most of the produce that I love being currently out of season, I’m finding inspiration in Indian dishes with lots of spice and depth of flavor. In this recipe I used caraway seeds and turmeric to create a luxurious soup with plenty of flavor and a beautiful yellow color. With an apple and leek base, fennel and lentils round out the texture to make a soup that is truly remarkable.

Cook Time 30 Minutes
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Total Time 45 Minutes



½ cup lentils
1 fennel bulb, chopped, with some fronds saved for garnish
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 leeks, white and light green parts chopped, green leaves can be thrown out
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp caraway seeds
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp tumeric
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 cups vegetable broth
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Photo By Clark Halpern

Photo By Clark Halpern

Photo By Clark Halpern


1. Heat up the olive oil in a large stockpot until simmering, add the shallot, apple, and leeks. Sauté for roughly 4 minutes, until apple and leeks begin to soften.

2. Add the caraway seed, red pepper flakes, and turmeric, stirring for around 30 seconds until aromatic.

3. Add the fennel and sauté until the fennel begins to soften, roughly 6 minutes.

4. Add the lentils and the vegetable broth, stir to combine, bring to a simmer for roughly 20 minutes or until the lentils are done.

5. Blend, and if looking for a smother texture, strain through a fine wire mesh strainer.

6. Enjoy with a scattering of fennel fronds as a garnish.

Photo By Clark Halpern


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