Fennel Leek Soup

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My good friend, Kelli, told me about this soup that her dad, Paul, made for her family and how much they all loved it!  Yesterday was a perfect, soup-kind-of-day so I pulled up the e-mail she sent to me and set to work vegan’izing it.  See the original recipe uses chicken & chicken broth but I wanted to keep it plant based so I took a couple liberties with substitutions, adding barley and wild rice to it (whereas the barley is optional in the original).

I was blown away with how good it turned out.  It’s easy to pull together, cooks up fast, and unlike my first attempt at a plant-based soup (that smelled like something died in it) this smelled amazing and it was so easy to go back for a second helping.  I’d never had leeks before and am still a fennel noob, so I was a little apprehensive, once again turning to You-tube to figure out how to cut the leeks (easy peasy) – so that’s my tip for this recipe.  Trust me, try it, you won’t regret it!

I had some leftover cornbread from a batch of vegan chili we had the other night so I broke it into chunks and tossed that on top for lunch today – perfection!


  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 5-6 leeks cleaned and sliced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 fennel plants, (each plant has 2 bulbs) bulbs cleaned and sliced
  • 8 large mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoons ground thyme
  • 68 oz. vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 cup wild barley
  • 2 handfuls of fresh cleaned spinach, roughly chopped


  1. In a large stock pot add the olive oil, carrots, leeks, garlic, sliced fennel bulbs & mushrooms.  Sauté for 5 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper & thyme.
  2. Add vegetable stock, thyme, rice and barley to the mixture then bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Near the end of the simmer, add the fresh spinach leaves.



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