Fennel Leek Soup with Walnuts & Turmeric

Created by Laura Wright
4.91 from 21 votes

This fennel and leek soup features apples, walnuts, and turmeric — this recipe is easy to make, delicious, and beautifully golden in colour, too! The walnuts are blended directly into the soup to help give it a super creamy texture

An overhead shot of fennel walnut soup with turmeric on a beige and blue napkin over a grey concrete background. The soup is bright yellow and garnished with toasted walnuts, fennel fronds and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Apples fallen from a tree in deep grass and weeds.
An up close shot of fennel walnut soup with turmeric. The soup is bright yellow and garnished with toasted walnuts, fennel fronds and a drizzle of maple syrup.
An overhead shot of soup ingredients on a light wood cutting board in moody lighting.

Every season is vegan soup recipes season in my eyes. The colour of this fennel walnut soup with turmeric wins me over every time. I love adding a handful of toasted nuts to a blended soup because it “creams” the texture up a bit. This also makes the soup super satiating!

For more soup inspiration, I recommend checking out my creamy white bean soup with kale, carrot and red lentil soup, and this simple chickpea soup.

I love fennel with leeks and apples in a salad situation, all sprinkled with toasted and chopped walnuts. A warm version of that felt just right to me. The added sprinkle of turmeric for that slightly bitter and warm edge (and stunning colour) works really nicely.

Cooking with Leeks & Fennel:

  • I wash leeks by splitting them down the middle and running my fingers and water through all the layers. If there is grit in your leeks, that’s where it’s hiding!
  • To chop fennel for soup, I use the bulb portion and start by cutting it in half down the middle. From there, I lay the flat side down, and cut it into slices. You don’t have to be overly precise here because everything is getting blended. Save the fennel fronds for garnish.
  • The part of the leek that I recommend using for soup is the white and very light green part. These parts are super flavourful and tender.
  • To use up the dark green parts of the leeks, I recommend chopping them up and saving them for vegetable stock.

Before starting the soup, I pre-toast the walnuts in the pot. Then I add them to the soup along with the veg, stock etc and purée them into the finished product. The whole process takes about 30 minutes. Strong toasty walnut flavour comes through with all of the leeks, fennel and lightly sweet apple and makes the whole thing a touch creamier.

I like to serve this soup with a fine drizzle of maple syrup, fennel fronds, and extra toasted walnuts. To store leftovers, transfer to a sealed container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze this soup!

4 photos: one of an apple tree up close, one of fallen spoiled apples in the dirt, one of a package of turmeric, and one of a bowl of fennel walnut soup.
A wooden spoon is sticking out of a pot and it has a dusting of turmeric on it.
An overhead shot of fennel walnut soup with turmeric on a beige and blue napkin over a grey concrete background. The soup is bright yellow and garnished with toasted walnuts, fennel fronds and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Fennel Leek Soup with Walnuts & Turmeric

This fennel and leek soup also features apples, walnuts, and turmeric — this recipe is easy to make, delicious, and golden in colour, too! The walnuts are blended directly into the soup to help give it a super creamy texture.
4.91 from 21 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts chopped (discard green tops or use them for stock)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ cup walnut halves, toasted
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable stock

To Serve

  • maple syrup
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped fennel fronds
  • more toasted walnuts chopped

Equipment

Notes

  • This is a pretty simple soup! Of course, I always think homemade vegetable stock is ideal, but especially with a soup with limited ingredients like this one.

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium. Add the chopped leeks and thyme. Stir and sauté the leeks until they are a bit soft, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped fennel and apples. Stir everything up a bit. Add the turmeric and stir to coat all of the vegetables evenly. Sauté the vegetables until the fennel is starting to soften, another 4 minutes. Add the walnuts and stir them in. Season the whole thing with salt and pepper. Add the vegetable stock and stir.
  • Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until all of the vegetables/apples are very soft, about 12-15 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat. Carefully blend the mixture in batches in an upright blender until totally smooth. Check the soup for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  • Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. Bring the puréed fennel walnut soup to a boil and then serve hot with little drizzles of maple syrup, fresh black pepper, fennel fronds, and more toasted walnuts if you like.
17/10/2013 (Last Updated 03/08/2023)
Posted in: autumn, creamy, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, quick, refined sugar-free, soup, spring, summer, vegan, winter

59 comments

4.91 from 21 votes (13 ratings without comment)

Recipe Rating




  • Barb

    5 stars
    great, loved it. Do you know the nutrient values in this soup?

  • Mandy

    5 stars
    Love it!! A go to recipe in my house. The flavours match up perfectly. So warm and comforting on a cold autumn evening. The toasted walnuts and maple drizzle top it off beautifully!

  • Jenny K

    3 stars
    This is the fourth soup I’ve tried from this blog post. I loved the others. This one was a little bland for my taste. It was also a little gritty – that’s my bad for note cleaning the leeks and fennel enough. I’m going to keep trying other soups on the list – I love this post!

  • Lila

    5 stars
    Everyone LOVED IT!!!! Delicious and lovely–and the honey, toasted walnuts and feathery fennel fronds added just enough “extra” complexity and added additional beauty to a stunningly beautiful and yummy soup!

  • Ann

    5 stars
    I made this recipe exactly as written and it is lovely. However, hot tumeric liquid stained my plastic vitamix. I would like to make again but may trying blending soup sans tumeric, putting back in pot and then adding tumeric.

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Ann!
      This is a great strategy for avoiding turmeric stains. Over the years I’ve scrubbed lots of turmeric stains out of my Vitamix pitcher and this is what I find works best: I make a paste of baking soda, water, and a couple drops of lemon essential oil. Scrubbing with this mixture takes away the bulk of it. After rinsing, I recommend leaving your clean Vitamix pitcher out in the sun on a really sunny afternoon. I was skeptical at first, but it really does help remove stains.
      -L

  • Lili

    Hello Laura,
    If I wanted to make this soup the day before serving it, do you think it would keep well and still taste good the next day? Thank you!

    • Laura

      Hi Lili!
      Yes definitely. If anything, the soup will taste better the next day. The time gives the flavours of the soup the opportunity to “marinate” a bit :)
      -L

      • Lili

        Thank you so much! :)

  • Karen Fleming

    5 stars
    Really nice flavours & lovely with walnuts when serving.  Thank you for the lovely recipe.

  • Deb Grace

    5 stars
    I have made this soup 3 times, and I love it!  It’s warm, flavorful, and soothing to the palate!  When I serve this soup for guests, it’s always a hit!  One of my most favorite soups of all times!

  • Sam

    I’m going to make this today but I wasn’t able to pick up fennel. Can I add whole fennel seeds to replace? 

    • Laura

      Hi Sam,
      I’d recommend substituting another cup or so of chopped mild vegetables (such as zucchini, celery or even carrots) and a pinch of fennel seeds. Since you’re subtracting the fennel you’ll want to make up for the volume.
      -L

  • BRENDA BARCLAY

    5 stars
    Gorgeous soup. I have made it twice now and loved it. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Thank you. 

  • Lori

    Wow! How yum…mine isn’t as smooth as yours looks but who cares! Warm rich comfort food with not a lot of effort!

  • Tad Davis

    I like the visual and the concept, but my first version of the soup was not so flavorful as I imagined. The amount of leeks relative to fennel and apple seemed wrong, though leeks vary greatly in size. My largish leeks and fennel and apple came out to about a 4:2:1 ratio. I tried it again with equal parts leek and fennel with more success. Try number three will include a tablespoon of calvados (or maybe pastis) during the initial cooking :)

  • Setareh

    Just wrote this down in my notebook. Can’t wait to try it tomorrow :)

  • Nicole

    I’ve made this soup a few times and love it! I couldn’t find fennel one time and used celeriac and it was delicious! I’m making this again, but for someone who can’t eat nuts. Any thoughts on a substitute or should I just leave out the walnuts?

    • Laura

      I would leave out the walnuts and vigorously stir in a 1/4 cup of tahini after you’ve pureed the soup. The tahini will give it some body and a little bit of fat too, similar to the role of the walnuts.
      -L

  • Freya

    This soup looks sooooo good! The colour alone is just amazing and I love the idea of mixing fruit in with a veggie soup – gives it a nice sweetness to undercut the savoury taste. I never really cook with fennel though, so wish me luck!

  • RMC

    Hi, I am about to make this. Do i read correctly that the green leaves are not included? Just the white and light green lower portion?? Thanks

    • Laura

      Sorry to reply so late! Yes, you’re only using the white and light green parts of the leeks.
      -L

  • Steve

    Thanks for the warning on turmeric stains. It’s definitely an effective dye. This is a really creative soup by the way. Love your stuff.

  • Kristen Summers

    Amazing!!! Made this tonight after a tiring, chilling day at the farm and it was PERFECT!! my husband doesn’t even like soup (is that possible??) and he ate this right up. Thank you for this amazingness in a bowl :)

  • Jennifer Bell

    im about to make this. It has 2 of my favorite vegetables. I’m concerned about the walnuts. Do they blend to smooth consistency with the veggies? Sounds picky icky but I’m funny about crunchy things mixed into smooth. I’m thinking the nutty flavor will be great as well as nutrients.

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Jennifer, I used a high speed blender (Vitamix) to puree my soup, so mine was perfectly smooth. I’m not sure on results with a regular blender or food processor. I’ve seen some versions from people who made it on Instagram and it looks to have a little bit of texture from the nuts… If you’re a bit skittish on texture and you’re working with a more typical blender or food processor, I’d save some toasted chopped walnuts for garnish instead.
      -L

  • michelle

    I made this and thought it came out tasting a little acidic. Maybe adding milk or something creamy would’ve helped?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Michelle, I’m curious on why this came out acidic for you because there aren’t any overly acidic ingredients in this recipe. Perhaps the apple you used was a bit tart? Or maybe your turmeric was a bit more potent than mine and contributed to the bitter/acidic sensation? Either way, whenever I have an overly acidic food, I always try to combat that taste by balancing out with either a) more fat (this soup has the walnuts pureed right in, so this shouldn’t be necessary because they add to the fat content), or b) sweetness. Milk tends to be both lightly fatty and sweet, so this could help. Sorry that this didn’t work out for you this time and hopefully this reply helps a bit :)
      -L

  • Andrea

    Just made this soup for my family dinner, and even the picky eaters loved it! Thanks for the recipe – i have trouble knowing what to do with ingredients like fennel and leeks!

  • Terry

    Thanks for the recipe (I’ll add apple to the fennel/leek soup I am making today, and maybe some spices.) About turmeric: we have an ancient formica kitchen counter; I have learned not to stress too much about the turmeric stains, because they do indeed fade away over time—about 2 weeks.

  • Ellen Lederman

    I just discovered your blog when I searched for vegan recipe using fennel (Trader Joe’s had two bulbs for $2.49). Wow! This soup was fantastic. So gourmet and unique. I saved a few pieces of the leeks and fennel to float in the soup so it wasn’t all pureed and roasted the leeks and fennel in the oven before putting them into the soup. Soup is so healthy, with the veggies, walnut, and turmeric (almost felt I didn’t have to take my turmeric supplement after having this for lunch!).

    I’ll be back to visit..often. You’re amazing—great writing and photography, along with fantastic-sounding recipes. You really have a neck for food styling/presentation….I tried to drizzle/swirl the maple syrup on top, but it just immediately fell down into the soup and blurred…what is the secret?

    Thanks so much for such a gorgeous and incredibly tasty labor of love…

    • Laura Wright

      Hey Ellen! Thanks for your incredibly kind comment. And honestly I’m not sure what the secret is with maple syrup drizzling. Maybe I just had a really viscous batch or something?! I just pour it right from the bottle!
      Thanks again.
      -L

  • Bartek

    Today was our first major snowfall here in Toronto. This soup was warming and it reminded me of autumn, although excited for tobogganing and the winter like, this was lovely :) Thank you.

  • Katie @ Whole Nourishment

    I made this for lunch today to go with a beluga lentil salad. It was simple to throw together and so delicious. The walnuts add a wonderful body and the yellow color from the turmeric is beautiful.

  • Haley - egginon

    Wow this looks so so delicious! Perfect for chilly fall days!

  • teague

    Your mom sounds awesome! It’s always nice to have someone to share some tough love every once in a while, and then a big bowl of soup to cheer you up after! Looks delicious!

  • Audrey

    I just made this. I used roasted almonds instead of walnuts, and added a parsnip instead of leeks, stirred in some kale at the end, then topped it with a bit of honey, pepitas and greek yogurt and a dash of curry powder. Soooo delish! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • slywlf

    Oh my that was fun – and funny! And I can so relate to the panic/elation conundrum, as I am in the final stages of selling my home/business of 10 years and moving to a serious fixer-upper with a dear friend who has been my rock since my husband died. She sounds a lot like your mother – a dynamo who never says never ;-)
    I was referred here by 101 Cookbooks and I’m so glad I came! Sounds so delicious – you now have a new RSS subscriber ;-)
    As for turmeric staining – hoo boy don’t I know it! I was turned on to warm turmeric milk by another site, and quickly discovered how that stuff will stain anything it comes in contact with! The one thing I have found that helps is as soon as you can pat a paste of baking soda and water on the spot(s) and leave it. Success will depend on the material involved; stainless steel and glass will eventually come clean – plastic and counter laminate …. not so much – oh well – I like yellow ;-)

  • Diana

    I saw this recipe in my inbox and made it the same day. It’s a lovely soup and my husband enjoyed it very much. I topped it with home made croutons!

  • Ian

    Great story and amazing photos you post on your blog. This recipe in particular looks like something that will taste amazing this time of year. It’s funny how the palette changes with the seasons. The flavors of apple, fennel, and leek are so bold yet seem to complement each other well. Can’t wait to make this!

  • ara

    Just made this for my mom last night with curry powder instead of plain turmeric and it was amazing! She asked for the recipe and I can’t wait to make it again :) Thank you!

  • sandra

    I made this dish and it was fabulous – you can see mine over at meadowscooks.blogspot.com

  • Jacqui

    We bought our house about 1 1/2 years ago. Our house is pretty old too and your yard sounds just like the disarray that ours was in! But it’s coming along, inside and out. It always seems daunting the tasks to do, but I still get excited every time we start something new. Gorgeous soup!

  • Stacy

    Priorities! Savings! Adulthood! It’s tough stuff, this living-life business. I’m with you. Every time things seem to be running smoothly, or the hard stuff has been sorted out momentarily, something new comes up. Good thing we have soup, and soothing tasks like gardening, and mothers and mentors to push us to be a bit more bad ass ourselves. xoxo

  • Fresh and Foodie

    I am dying over this photography. I’d seriously hang that soup on my wall. Wow.

  • Jenn Radford

    Reading about your combined fear/excitement about buying your own house totally struck a chord with me! The elation from being told that you “won” to the intense reality of So. Much. Debt is a roller coaster. 2 years after my house buying, my garden is still a bit of a shambles, but it’s home.

    I’ve been loving your blog for a while now, I am in Australia, so I have to store all your recipes upside down so the seasons suit me better. We’ve had a realyl mild start to our Spring on the West Coast, so I will probably give this recipe a try on the weekend anyway!

  • Claire (Eat Well. Party Hard.)

    “You need to toughen up.” Daaaaaamn, life lesson indeed! Huge congrats and best wishes as the new adventure gets underway :)

  • Kathryn

    Love the sound of your new pad; so much character and life in it. This soup is totally perfect too, bright and rich and flavoursome and good.

  • Juliette

    Congratulations on your new home!! Your mom sounds like an amazing badass person =)

  • ebie

    Congrats on the home! My dude and I also recently bought a little fixer-upper; we’ve been showering outdoors for two months now while we painstakingly correct 70 years of bad tile, uneven wall studs and poor ventilation in the one and only bathroom. We completed the last touch last night — refinishing the chipped-up vintage tub with a totally noxious epoxy — and when it’s officially cured in three days, and we can finally shower indoors again, I believe I’d like to celebrate with this soup. (It’s about time, too, because the romance and novelty of showering outside is quickly wearing off as really cold weather sets in!)

  • Reesa

    Beautifully written post, and gorgeous looking soup! Not the sort of thing I’d usually make (I find leeks fussy and don’t loooove walnuts), but you’ve definitely inspired me! You’re so tough out there, it makes me want to try something new. I bet I’ll be glad.

  • ana

    My mum is almost as badass as yours ;-)
    Amazing idea for the soup! I got used to having yellow stains around my kitchen. Gotta love that root!

  • Kulsum

    I think you shall make your house beautiful just like this soup. I have many (MANY) turmeric stained wooden spoons and your photo reminded me of that. ah!

  • Ashley

    Congrats on the house!! I can completely relate to this post, except for the part where your mom chops down trees. :) For the past 2.5 years we’ve had never-ending projects and are now on to old house #2. It’s intense but rewarding. The hardest part is for me is feeling like I want it to all be done right now. We just want to feel settled! I’ve gotten over that with the “new” house but am still itching to be able to unpack everything. Slow + steady. xoxo Now, soup me, please!

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchen

    Oh, wow. Look at that incredible, vibrant color! I wonder if I can use fresh turmeric root instead…I’ll try!

    And congrats for your new house! I’m sure it’ll turn into a lovely home.

  • Emma

    Sounds like such a fun project you’re taking on. I can imagine it’s a huge amount of work but think of the perfect home you’ll have when it’s all over :)
    Gorgeous soup. All flavours I love.

  • Emma Galloway

    LOVE this and can so relate. We bought our house (back in NZ) a few weeks before I was due with our first kid. It’s shabbiness was overwhelming, thankfully I was in full nesting mode so climbing up on shaky ladders (true story-imagine crazy big belly lady) to clean the years of cobwebs from the window frames was totally doable. The oven on the other hand was another story. It was so feral I out-right refused to clean it, or use it. The plan was to chuck it and buy a new one… until a few months later when I bit the bullet and cleaned the damn thing. Realising full well that we had no extra cash to buy a new one! You will get past this and look back and smile. You own your own home, it’s YOURS! That is super cool xx
    P.s LOVING this soup.

  • Harriet

    This recipe looks so seasonally delicious (and beautiful!). Also, your story made me laugh out loud, parents are hilarious. But I bet your garden is going to be amazing!

  • Beth Young

    BEAUTIFUL colours! And such wonderful photography! We eat a lot of fennel in Italy so will definitely give this a go!