111017-day-Healthy Appetite

Soup is a pure comfort food, especially when it’s made with nutrient-dense ingredients. This roasted broccoli and fennel number boasts major antioxidants and phytonutrients, which give your immune system a boost – exactly what you need when temperatures dip in fall and winter. In addition to all the great things this bowl of comfort can do for your body, it’s also quick and easy to put together and is packed with hearty and herbal flavor.

Although this take on dukkah (a condiment spelled several other ways) is far from traditional, it does technically meet the definition. Native to Egypt and popular throughout the Middle East, dukkah is a dip made with herbs, nuts and spices. Dukkah varies by country and region, but it’s often made with hazelnuts, pistachios, sesame seeds and spices such as coriander and cumin seeds, salt and pepper, and fresh or dried thyme and mint. This version uses celery leaves in place of the herbs and raw sunflower seeds in place of nuts. 

Roasted Broccoli and Fennel Soup With Celery Dukkah

Sometimes fennel can be hard to source, so you can substitute equal parts celery instead. Raw pumpkin seeds can be used in place of sunflower seeds for the dukkah, which will result in a nuttier, heartier crunch.

Serves 4 to 6

Celery Dukkah

  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup celery leaves, minced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Roasted Broccoli and Fennel Soup

  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups fennel, chopped into wedges
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups curly kale, ribs removed
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 3 cups filtered water or vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

| Preparation – Celery Dukkah | In the bowl of a food processor, pulse sunflower seeds until roughly chopped. In a sauté pan over medium heat, toast roughly chopped seeds until browned. Add celery leaves, salt and pepper, and stir. Sauté for 1 minute more. Set aside until completely cool.

| Preparation – Roasted Broccoli and Fennel Soup | Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spread broccoli and fennel evenly on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast for 20 minutes, flipping broccoli and fennel after 10 minutes.

In a large saucepot over medium-low heat, add minced garlic and sweat for 3 minutes. Add onion and sweat for 5 minutes more. When broccoli and fennel are done roasting, add them to the saucepot with garlic and onion. Then add kale, cashews, water or stock, and lemon juice, and generously season with salt and pepper. Simmer mixture for 5 minutes, and remove from heat. In bowl of a blender, add vegetables and pan juice, and blend until smooth. Garnish soup with celery dukkah and serve.

Sherrie Castellano is a former health coach turned food writer, photographer and pop-up chef based in St. Louis. A collection of Sherrie’s recipes, stories and images can be found on her Saveur Blog Award-nominated website, With Food + Love. Sherrie is currently the marketing director for Midwest-based Big Heart Tea Co.