Lemon Fennel Soup

Hearty Soup Stock with fennel, onions, carrot, celery, leeks and garlic


As we thaw out from the cold winter and begin to sprout with spring, it is good to remember the exuberance of summer is not yet here. Even as we joyously play in the unbelievably warm february sun, Yang is still young. Yin is aging and the warm nature of these two classic polarities is slowly growing. Or sprouting rather like your seed in the window for your early summer garden.

It is REALLY easy to over-do right now. I know, it looks soooo tempting to expend every little big of energy we have has stored up over winter in one sweet 75 degree sunny weekend. And, this is how we can just as easily crash into an exhausted sun-soaked state and pick up some springtime cold or flu.

This is a bright simple soup that is created to balance and nourish during this change of season. The sour and fragrant lemon add a sharpness that activates and nourishes the liver out of stagnancy and eases its blood cleansing duties. The fennel and potatoes serve the spleen and bring roots back to your feet after you have dizzied yourself with activity. Using a good, non-bleached salt brings balance to your electrolytes along with the potassium in the potatoes. If you have experience with Chinese herbs, try adding a little Yi Yi Ren, or Jobs Tears to the soup to nourish and dry out the dampness of winter.

Refreshing and nourishing. An investment for your immune system. So that you can endure the next amazingly beautiful day!


Lemon Fennel Soup

1/4 cup Jobs Tears, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 medium red onion, diced small
3 clove garlic, chopped fine
3 bulbs of fennel, cores removed, medium-small dice
3/4 lb potatoes scrubbed, small dice( I prefer yukon gold or similar heirloom variety)
3 celery stalks, small dice
2 quarts of stock or water
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
juice of 2 lemons or 1/4 cup
1 tbl marjoram, fresh, chopped fine
1 tbl rosemary, fresh, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste
In a small sauce pan, toast fennel and mustard seeds until they begin to pop. Set aside.
In a medium pot bring stock/water, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, toasted seeds, and Jobs Tears to a boil. Bring to a simmer and maintain for 20 minutes. Add potatoes, celery, onions, garlic and fennel and return to a boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to a simmer and maintain until the potatoes and beginning to fall apart, beyond soft. Remove from heat. Allow soup to cool slightly for 10 minutes, then add lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and chopped fine herbs. Adjust final ingredients accordingly. Enjoy!!

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