Every winter when cooler weather hits I’m ready for a cozy blanket and a bowl of hot soup. Soup for dinner can get old after a while though if you don’t have some variety. This caramelized fennel soup is fast, easy, and full of flavor! It’s also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and packed with veggies.

Fennel Soup Recipe

My fennel soup is a little bit different than some of the recipes you’ll find out there (in a good way!). Instead of using white beans, like cannellini beans, or potatoes to thicken the soup I keep it simple and stick to fresh fennel. The flavor is much stronger this way and it’s still just as filling.

If you’re not familiar with fennel, it looks like celery but has a subtle anise or licorice flavor to it. Fennel seeds have a stronger anise taste, while the bulb and fennel fronds are lighter tasting. Instead of steaming or boiling it in chicken stock or vegetable stock, we’re caramelizing it in olive oil. This really helps bring out more depth of flavor!

Once the fennel has cooked down and sauteed I add chicken broth and seasonings. You could also use vegetable broth if preferred, but I think the chicken adds really good flavor (and nutrition). I’ll often make my own chicken stock, but when I don’t have time I use Kettle and Fire brand.

Soup Equipment

You’ll notice that unlike most soup recipes I’m using a skillet instead of a large pot. A Dutch oven will also work here. The idea is to have something with a heavy bottom that holds heat well. Since the fennel needs to caramelize and cook down for a while, it can burn in a thinner bottomed soup pot.

There are two ways to make this soup depending on how you want the final texture. For a thick and creamy soup use a high-speed blender or an immersion blender. A food processor doesn’t work the best here because it won’t turn it into a smooth puree. You can also leave it as a broth with pieces of fennel in it. Either way it’s delicious!

Fennel Soup Garnishes

While this soup is great as is, the toppings can really take it to the next level. Here are a few different ideas to top your soup.

  • Fresh chives
  • Fresh or dried dill
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • A dollop of yogurt
  • Drizzle of heavy cream
  • Crispy bacon pieces
fennel soup

30-Minute Fennel Soup

Caramelized fennel in savory chicken broth, topped with fresh parsley. Quick, flavorful, and comforting.

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sliced fennel and saute until caramelized and brown (around 12 minutes).

  • Add broth, salt, and pepper and simmer for another 10-13 minutes until flavors meld.

  • Choose between a broth or a creamy soup by blending. Puree the soup in batches with a high-speed or immersion blender for a smooth texture.

  • Ladle into bowls, top with parsley, and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

30-Minute Fennel Soup

Amount Per Serving (1 serving)

Calories 252
Calories from Fat 144

% Daily Value*

Fat 16g25%

Saturated Fat 3g19%

Polyunsaturated Fat 2g

Monounsaturated Fat 11g

Sodium 1392mg61%

Potassium 1451mg41%

Carbohydrates 25g8%

Fiber 9g38%

Sugar 12g13%

Protein 9g18%

Vitamin A 709IU14%

Vitamin C 40mg48%

Calcium 160mg16%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and use within several days. Reheat as needed over medium heat on the stove.

More Soup Recipes

Looking for more filling recipes on a cool day? Try one of these hearty soup recipes!

Have you cooked with fennel before? What are some of your favorite ways to use it? Leave a comment and let us know!

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