A quick to pull-together cozy meal with rich flavor. This hearty and nourishing White Bean Fennel Soup Recipe is so satisfying on its own with a thick slice of crusty Multigrain Sourdough Bread or top with Sourdough Croutons to make a cozy meal. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.
This recipe was first published December 2017 and updated October 2022. The recipe remains unchanged.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Fennel Soup Recipe
There’s so much to love about this vegetarian and vegan fennel soup recipe. Rich and complex flavor comes from the simplest ingredients! Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:
- Simple to Make – a one pot meal with just eight basic ingredients.
- Nourishing Ingredients – a soup we can feel good about eating.
- Cook and Prep Time – this recipe can be on the table in just under 30 minutes.
For those on the fence about soup with fennel, this is a recipe I recommend starting with. Cooking truly transforms the flavor of fennel into a rich, sweet and complex tasting vegetable.
Ingredients You’ll Need
With just a few simple pantry staples and a short list of fresh ingredients, this fennel soup recipe is easy on the wallet. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe (see recipe card for details):
- Olive Oil – extra virgin for sautéing the veggies.
- Onion – yellow to add loads of flavor.
- Fennel Bulb – fresh fennel with fronds attached. While the fronds will only be used for garnish in this , they’re quite tasty in green smoothies.
- Garlic – fresh fat garlic bulbs, minced.
- Kale – I like Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale in this recipe, but any kale will do.
- Vegetable Broth – a good veggie broth is key here. My preferred brand is Better than Bouillon.
- Cannellini Beans – cooked white beans (aka white kidney beans).
- Lemon Juice – to brighten and balance the flavors.
If you’re a fennel fan, you’re going to love my Roasted Fennel Mushroom Gratin!
Quick Guide: How to Make Vegan White Bean and Fennel Soup
Get out your Dutch oven or large pot and wooden spoon. We’re making a rich and tasty soup with fennel! (see recipe card for details):
- First, dice the onion and fennel and saute’ in a bit of olive oil.
- Second, destem, chop and wash the kale, then add it to the soup pot along with minced garlic – I always add a little extra!
- Next, pour in the veggie broth and cook the soup until it’s warmed through.
- Last, remove from heat and stir in a squeeze of lemon juice.
Add plenty of fresh ground pepper and taste for salt. Ladle into soup bowls and share with lemon wedges and warm, crusty Sourdough Bread for sopping up all the delicious, infused broth.
What Part of Fennel is Used for Soup?
For this soup recipe, we’re chopping the bulb, the white part of fennel and saving the fronds for garnish.
How to Chop Fennel For Soup:
We’re chopping the fennel bulb into small, bite size pieces. First you’ll slice the fronds off at the top of the fennel bulb, discarding the tough parts of the fronds that attach it to the bulb. Keep the fronds for garnish and smoothies! Remove the brown edged, tough, outer layers of the bulb and chop off the base of the bulb. Slice the bulb into thin pieces, and then cut those pieces crosswise – like an onion.
What Does Fennel Taste Like in Soup?
Cooking fennel softens its otherwise sharp, raw flavors. Since we’re sautéing the fennel, its flavor is transformed into sweet, buttery and complex. It’s quite nice.
- Make Ahead – this is this kind of soup that’s perfect for the work week. Its flavor improves with a little time.
- Variation – I adapted this soup with fennel recipe from BonAppetit Magazine where they use Mustard Greens in lieu of Kale. When I can find Mustard Greens, I use them in this recipe. They are fabulous! But, they can be hard to find.
- Garlic and Lemon – if you love these two together, you can get away with adding more in this recipe.
More Vegetarian Soup Recipes to Love
- White Bean Cabbage and Potato Soup
- Chickpea Noodle Soup
- Lentil Mushroom Cabbage Roll Soup
- Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
Lemon-Garlic White Bean, Kale and Fennel Soup Recipe
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 cup (100 grams) Yellow Onion diced, about one medium
- 1 cup (135 grams) Fennel Bulb* (see note) fronds trimmed and reserved, bulb sliced thin and chopped, about one large fennel
- 3 teaspoons Garlic minced, about 4-5 medium cloves
- 1/2 pound (215 grams) Bunch Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale stems removed, and chopped into bite size pieces (about 1 big bunch)
- 2 cups (15 ounces / 425 grams) Cannellini Beans (aka white kidney beans) cooked, or one can, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups (875 grams) Vegetable Broth ** (see note)
- 1 cup (237 grams) Water adjust up if a souper soup is desired
- 2 Lemons
- Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
- In a Dutch oven or medium stock pot, add the olive oil. Heat to shimmering and stir in the onions and fennel. Cook on medium low for about 8-9 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the onions and fennel have softened.
- Add the garlic and kale, and a pinch of sea salt. Cook on medium low until the kale is wilted, stirring a few times, about 3 minutes.
- Add the beans, broth and water, stirring gently so the beans don’t break. Bring to a simmer, then turn to low. Cook to warm through about 5-10 minutes.