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Bella’s Carrot, Orange and Fennel Soup

This soup recipe is a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, linked to reducing the risk of cancer, heart attacks and cataracts.

Carrot, orange and fennel soup

Here’s a recipe where a little culinary ad-libbing met the needs of a caregiver.

My husband, Gregg, was under the weather, but he was hungry. So I went to the kitchen to see what I could rustle up. Bella, our Portuguese water dog, trotted after me.

There wasn’t much in the fridge. A few carrots and some fennel. That’s good for the belly. Gregg liked my carrot ginger soup. Would carrot fennel soup work? I went to the fruit compartment for lemons, but found only an orange. It all went into the pot. All except one carrot. That was Bella’s reward for waiting patiently.

A while later I set some soup in front of Gregg. He took one taste and said, “I feel better already!” A few weeks and tweaks later, I had the recipe down.

P.S. I named this recipe after Bella since she’s probably the only dog who prefers carrots to bacon. For every four carrots that go into the soup, one goes into Bella’s mouth. Otherwise, she howls.



2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil ⅛ tsp. ground allspice
1 c. yellow onions, chopped 1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 c. fennel, chopped 1 ½ tsp. orange zest
1 ⅛ tsp. sea salt, divided 8 c. stock or water
3 lbs. carrots washed and cut into 1-inch pieces ¼ tsp. maple syrup
¼ tsp. ground cumin 1 Tbsp. orange juice, freshly squeezed
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Cashew Cream:

1 c. raw cashews ¼ tsp. sea salt
1 c. water Pinch fresh nutmeg, grated
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice  


1. In an eight-quart pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and fennel with pinch of salt; sauté until golden.

2. Add carrots, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, red pepper, orange zest and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir.

3. Deglaze pot with ½ cup stock until liquid is reduced by half. Add remaining 7½ cups stock with ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook till carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

4. In a blender, purée soup in batches, adding cooking liquid first then carrots. Blend until smooth. Add additional liquid to reach desired thickness.

5. Return to pot, add maple syrup, orange juice, lemon juice and a pinch of salt; reheat slowly.

6. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and drizzle cashew cream (see below) on top.

Cashew Cream::
Grind cashews in a food processor. Put water in a blender. Add ground cashews, lemon juice, salt and nutmeg. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Serves 6.

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