Dishing Up the Dirt

Fennel, Leek & Pear Soup

I did something rather risky. I whipped out my immersion blender and blended up my favorite salad and turned it into soup.

Okay, you got me. I didn’t really blend up my salad. However, the inspiration for this soup comes from my favorite autumn salad (which is fennel, pear and blue cheese with a dijon dressing) Yep, even down to the mustard. I added a little ground mustard so that I would get the full experience. And guess what? It was totally delicious.

I don’t know about you all but I am a fennel lover and I don’t post nearly enough fennel recipes on here. We had a pretty good fennel crop at Tumbleweed Farm last season and we are already planning on expanding how much we grow of it this year. We actually spent 10 hours on Friday planning out our seeding schedule for the 2014 season. It was exhausting and we may have both gotten a little cranky. And by we I mean me (sorry Taylor!)  But the good news is that schedule has been figured out and our seeds, row covers, and fencing materials have all been ordered. And just like that, we are broke again! Yikes. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We begin seeding in the greenhouse next month. I can’t believe it’s about to start up all over again.

Farm season may be just around the corner but a storm is brewing in our neck of the woods. Thank god we have this soup to warm up with. It’s simple, slightly sweet, and the blue cheese crostini ties the whole thing together. Please, don’t skip the crostini (unless you are vegan) It really was the perfect compliment to the soup. Grab a spoon and dig in!

Fennel, Leek, Pear Soup with Blue Cheese Crostini

Prep Time: 15 mins.    Cook Time: 30 mins.    Serves: 4-6

  • 2 TBS grapeseed oil
  • 2 large leeks, (white and light green parts only) Diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized pear, cored and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cored and finely chopped (reserve fonds for garnish)
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 5-6 cups vegetable stock
  • A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for serving.
For the Crostini:
  • 1/2 of a baguette of good quality bread 
  • Blue Cheese
  • Olive oil


  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add leeks, onion, dried thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes. Sauté for about 8 minutes stirring often. Once the leeks and onions have become a bit soft add the fennel, garlic, pear and mustard. Sauté for about 5 more minutes.  Add the veggie stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  2. With an immersion blender or regular blender puree the soup.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. While the soup is simmering slice up your bread. Drizzle a little olive oil over each slice and top with a little crumbled blue cheese. Place in a 425 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes. Or just until bread is toasted and cheese is slightly melted.
  4. Serve soup with bread, diced up fennel fronds, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Use this recipe as a guide. Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary.

Leave a Reply

20 thoughts on “Fennel, Leek & Pear Soup

  1. Joanne says:

    I always feel like soups, salads, and pizza toppings are fairly exchangeable! And this just proves my point. Such great flavors in this soup!

    And EEEE on the farm starting up again! How exciting!!

    1. Andrea says:

      I’m thinking this will taste great as a pizza topping! Thanks for the brilliant idea!

  2. I’ve been dreaming up a leek and bleu cheese combination lately, too! Soooo good!

    1. Andrea says:

      Isn’t it a great combination!

  3. I love leeks, and I have some powdered fennel that I have been trying to figure out what to do with! One of my weirder foodie purchases. Thanks for the beautiful pictures and ideas! Now please make your beetza into soup? Yum!

    1. Andrea says:

      Yes!!! Beetza in soup form sounds like a fantastic idea!!!

  4. This soup is filled with so much goodness – it truly looks great!

    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you!

  5. Lauren says:

    Such a tasty sounding combination! My mouth is watering over that blue cheese crostini. Wish I had some right now while I eat my lunch at work (your black bean & sweet potato stew 🙂 )

    1. Andrea says:

      So glad you are enjoying the black bean and sweet potato stew 🙂

  6. Pears and fennel, what a cool combo. I’m a fennel fan too, but I never cook with it, not sure why! And I will DEF not skip out on that crostini!

    1. Andrea says:

      The crostini makes the whole soup 🙂

  7. I love that a soup inspired this salad! With the cold weather, I’ll take my veggies in soup form any day. Cannot believe you guys are about to start seeding again… time flies!

  8. Jean says:

    Sounds yummy. I whipped up a batch of your zucchini fritters last night, Chopped up some left over Brussels sprouts (sauteed in bacon,,,,,,) and tossed them in. Can’t go wrong with that recipe. It just keeps on giving.

    It’s good to hear about Tumbleweed’s 2014 plans. Gives me hope.

    1. Andrea says:

      Brussels sautéed in bacon is honestly one of the best things on earth 🙂

  9. Pear + blue cheese is one of my favorite combinations, so naturally I love the unique way you combined the two here. Also loving on soup lately, so this sounds fantastic!

    1. Andrea says:

      I’m loving on soup too!!! Can’t seem to get enough in this cold and dreary weather!

  10. Julia says:

    I’m big on fennel too and all these yummy things blended together sounds marvelous. I LOVE me some blue cheese. BLUE CHEESE ME PLEASEEEE!!

  11. Mmm….that crostini is calling my name! What a unique soup too. I’m hesitant to cook with fennel because I’m not a fan of licorice flavor but I’ve never had it fresh. I’m sure it tastes completely different. I’ll have to give a try in you honor some time!

  12. christine says:

    Looks yummy. Can this soup be prepared a day or so ahead of serving time?

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