Carrot and Fennel Soup with Pistachios ~ a healthy comfort soup for any meal
Quick and Easy, Soups, Vegan

Carrot Fennel Soup with Pistachios

With my Christmas shopping already complete and the season in full swing, I thought I’d take a break from Christmas recipes to share something more mainstream.  Soups are so wonderfully comforting this time of year.  For autumn, I shared my Kale and White Bean Autumn Soup but I thought I should begin to share more of these cold weather favourites.  Carrots are always plentiful in markets and sometimes I have a number of them sitting in the refrigerator just waiting to be incorporated into a delicious recipe.  A soup creation was just the thing!

Carrots for Carrot Fennel Soup ~ Yum!

Carrots and fennel pair amazing well.  In this soup, the liquorice flavour of the fennel blends in with the smooth more uniform taste of the carrots and creates a lovely deep sweet yet even flavour that is somehow both comforting and regenerating.  Pistachios are a lovely addition and with a garnish of yogurt (for non-vegans) and a fennel sprig, it makes a lovely decorative soup that’s perfect for anything from a family meal to a large dinner party.

Carrot Fennel Soup with Pistachios ~ a healthy comforting soup for any meal

Unfortunately I neglected to get a photo of the fennel bulbs (what was I thinking??!!  You can see it here) but nevertheless I found out that it has an absolutley fascinating history.  There are reports of fennel being eaten 2000 years ago and Roman bakers used its leaves pressed under their bread to add extra flavour.  It was a symbol of courage in ancient Roman, and the Greek battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. was fought on a field of fennel (marthron).  The runner, Pheidippides, who ran to Athens to warn of the invasion was presented with a sprig of fennel which you can see in the painting by Luc Olivier Merson, and also read of fennel in Robert Brownings poem Pheiddipes:

So, when Persia was dust, all cried, “To Acropolis!
Run, Pheidippides, one race more! the meed is thy due!
Athens is saved, thank Pan, go shout!” He flung down his shield
Ran like fire once more: and the space ‘twixt the fennel-field
And Athens was stubble again, a field which a fire runs through,
Till in he broke: “Rejoice, we conquer!” Like wine through clay,
Joy in his blood bursting his heart, – the bliss!

Such an amazing history for a somewhat unfamiliar vegetable!

Carrot Fennel Soup with Pistachios ~ a healthy comforting soup for any meal

So sit down and sip this bowl of comfort.  You’ll be very glad you did!

Carrot Fennel Soup with Pistachios ~ a healthy comforting soup for any meal
5 from 6 votes

Carrot Fennel Soup with Pistachios

A warming and soothing soup to chase away the winter chills!

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings
Calories 299 kcal
Author Cleo


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large shallots, diced (or 8 small)
  • 2 bulbs fennel, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 2 pounds carrots, cut into ½" rounds
  • ½ teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea or Himalayan salt
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • ground pepper to taste
  • cup pistachios, chopped
  • cup plain yogurt (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a medium-large pot over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  

  2. Add the sliced fennel and sauté for another 5 minutes.

  3. Add vegetable stock, carrots, anise seeds and salt to the pot and bring to a slow boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are cooked and soft, approximately 30 minutes.

  4. Remove soup from the pot and purée in a blender.  You might have to do this in a couple of batches.

  5. Return soup to pot and add the can of coconut milk, stirring well to incorporate.  Add the pepper to taste.  Garnish with the chopped pistachios, yogurt and fronds of fennel.  

Recipe Notes

If you want to prepare this soup in advance, you can work up to and including step 4 and then refrigerate.  The next day, reheat the soup slowly, then begin at step 5 to complete.  I do prefer to make it all at once though for maximum freshness!

Food for Thought: “The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.”  ~ William Wordsworth

Carrot Fennel Soup with Pistachios ~ a warm mellow soup with the sweetness and tang to warm you to your toes!

20 thoughts on “Carrot Fennel Soup with Pistachios”

    1. Thanks, Lisa. It’s pretty cold here today in the Pacific Northwest too (at least, cold for us!). I’m certainly going to be sipping on a soup at some point today!

  1. This sounds like a great hearty and healthy soup during winter’s dregs.
    I made sweet-potato soup a few weeks ago… was good but very filling and sweetness can be overpowering. It felt like an entire meal!
    This soup brings fennel into my kitchen for a change of tastes!

    1. Ah, yes, I could see sweet potatoes alone being a little too sweet. The fennel flavour does slightly tone down the sweetness of the carrot and gives the soup a mellowness that’s very satisfying. And I find fennel is quite a cheery vegetable so it not only brings a nice flavour but is nice to work with visually. I hope this soup chases away some of the winter cold for you!

    1. Fennel is great in the soup. I believe it’s a rather underused vegetable, but perhaps I’ll have to rectify that! Thanks for the photographic complement. They’re always welcome and much appreciated! 🙂

  2. I love Carrot Soups! I have this version of Ginger Carrot soup which I also got from a bookish blogger! (Go Figure! There seems to be a lot of truth about books and food making an admirable combination!) But now I cannot wait to try this one….fennel is again something common in India, used to add a zing to the most bland dishes! I must try to this combo! Thanks a ton Cleo; I have so many dishes to try during the holiday season!

    1. I have a Carrot Ginger Soup too but I thought fennel would add a nice twist. I was going to add ginger to this soup too but in the end, decided to let the fennel speak for itself. Have fun with your holiday cooking and Merry Christmas, Cirtnecce!

  3. Perfect for a cold day especially since this has so many of my favorite flavors. I especially love licorice and it’s an interesting addition to this soup.

    1. There aren’t that many recipes for fennel so it’s nice to have another recipe to go to. Great for the holidays and whenever fennel is plentiful!

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