Vegetarian Cioppino Soup

When the holiday's come to a close, it always feels like sick season comes full throttle before you can truly start to get settled in the new year. Everywhere you turn there seems to be another sick person. If you're anything like me, you start to become hyperaware, and the things that you are used to touching, you now become very cautious about using.  As a person who has grown up always catching a cold, I always needed to find little tricks to prevent myself from getting sick at the first signs whenever possible. To prevent any or all of your sick troubles I have got the perfect cure for you.

For me, there is no better or more appetizing cure, than a hot bowl of soup during the winter season. I have what I call my soup staples, such as mushroom soup or tomato basil, but I decided to venture out and try something new this time around. It’s a New Year so why not try a new recipe?

During my exploration, I stumbled upon a Cioppino Recipe by the Purple Carrot – which is a very cool meal delivery service using all whole, plant-based ingredients. The Chioppino recipe is divine. Chioppino is typical an Italian stew made with lots of seafood and vegetables, but this vegetarian version will leave you feeling clean, fresh, renewed and ready for the day ahead! 

Ingredients:

1-Pound of Mushrooms                              2 Leeks

4 garlic cloves                                            1-Cup Fennel

½ cup of Dry White Wine                           3 Cups of Vegetable Stock

1 Can of Diced Tomatoes                          1 Tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning

1-Tablespoon of Fresh Thyme                   1-Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil                            Salt & Pepper to taste

Wash, Cut + dry the produce. Mince the garlic. Cut off and discard the ends of the leeks and fennel, thinly slice and set aside. 

Finely slice the mushrooms. Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Add the leeks and garlic to the pot, stir occasionally until browned, about 5 minutes. 

Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, occasionally stirring them until they begin to look translucent. 

Stir in the fennel and add the white wine. (You can use white cooking wine, but I always have regular wine in the house to bring out my inner Julia Child’s demeanor, so regular wine works as well). Bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for two more minutes.

Add to the pot the vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, Old Bay seasoning and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Bring the pot back to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer until fennel is soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Use a sharp knife to test. Stir in some to all (depending on your spice tolerance) of the crushed red pepper flakes and thyme. 

Cut the baguette into slices and place on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil on both sides. Place in the over and bake until golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Flip sides and bake until the other side is golden brown and take out of the oven. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle fresh thyme. Place one of the baguette slices along the side soup bowl for dipping. Serve warm and enjoy!