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Chourba Besbes | Algerian Fennel Soup

This light and velety soup will be a favourite on your Ramadan table with its subtle slightly sweet flavours.

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

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 Ramadan is right around the corner. We're busy preparing for this most cherished guest. Many of us will be preparing soups to break the fast with.

So today I offer you all this delicious vegetable soup whose main star is fennel. A thick creamy soup with the presence of fresh cream, scented with garlic which marries wonderfully with fennel and the Jerusalem artichoke.

Fennel is a celery-like winter vegetable with an interesting licorice-like flavor. Although the taste may take some getting used to at first, fennel provides an enormous amount of health benefits, making it well worth adding to your diet.
Fennel is recognized by its white bulb, long green stalks, and dill-like feathery leaves. It is related to other stalk vegetables such as celery and parsnips. The entire fennel bulb, including seeds, stalk, and leaves are edible, so there's very little waste.
This root vegetable originated in the Mediterranean countries of Greece and Italy and is used widely in North African and Algerian cooking, as well as other parts of the world.
Fennel is called besbes in Algeria and is in season from last Autumn, winter and almost until late spring.

Benefits of Fennel
Fennel is exceptionally high in fiber, with each bulb providing 7 grams of dietary fiber or 28% of daily needs. Most people are lacking in fiber intake, consuming only an average of 7 grams per day, therefore adding fennel to your diet could help double your intake!

One bulb also provides 969 mg of potassium or 27% of the RDA. Potassium is critical to help lower blood pressure and as well as maintain fluid balance.

Fennel is also high in vitamin C providing 28 mg per bulb or almost half of the RDA for this critical vitamin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which may help slow aging as well as maintain a healthy immune system.

Fennel provides additional important vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin K, and folate. It is also a good source of other minerals such as iron, calcium, copper, zinc, and selenium.

This soup will be perfect in the evening when you want to eat light, during Ramadan or on days when you want something delicious on busy days.

I invite you all to try it, it's a real treat ...

For this recipe, I have used  the whole fresh fennel bulb, stalk and leaves, only cutting off the bottom browned part. And Jerusalem artichoke as the filler vegetable,instead of potatoes for a low carb, diabetic friendly soup for Ramadan. If don't have health issues you can easily use white potatoes here, using 2 large potatoes in this recipe. 

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So let's get started with the recipe.

KITCHEN TIME 🕓 ACTIVE PREP TIME : 10 min |   INACTIVE PREP TIME : 0 min  |  COOK TIME : 30 -35 min  

soup  | serves about 5 - 6

 Algerian fennel soup 

‣ 4-5 fennel bulbs 
‣ 1 large onion
‣ 1 large carrot
‣ 6 peeled Jerusalem artichokes OR 2 large white potatoes 
‣ generous handful of parsely 
‣ 3 cloves of garlic
‣ 2 tsp herb de Provençe
‣ 1 bay leaf
‣ 125ml - 1/2c crème fraîche or heavy cream
‣ salt, black pepper, olive oil, stock

To serve: lemon, fresh herbs, olive oil 

1. Peel all vegetables and cut into pieces. In a pot, sauté the garlic and chopped onion in a little oil

2. Add the remaining vegetables and seasonings
Add enough water to cover, bring to a boil then reduce to a slow simmer, cooking for 30-35 minutes until the vegetables are fork tender.

3. Once cooked, use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Alternatively, do this in a food processor in batches.

4. Stir in the cream at the end before serving. 

    ⇝ This soup can be stored in the fridge for 3 days. It's not freezable.

    ⇝ You could top this soup with some toasted almonds or hazelnut for extra and healthy touch.

    ⇝ You can replace the Jerusalem artichokes with cassava or potatoes.
     ⇝ You could replace the cream for coconut milk to make this vegan.

     CATEGORIES: soup, Algerian, winter, spring, ramadan, quick and easy, healthy, vegetarian, vegan adaptable, paleo adaptable

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        Serve this delicous soup with a freshly baked homemade Algerian bread or this stuffed galette.

        Or alternatively, browse through the recipe index to get inspired.

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