The Vitamix is such a great tool to make healthy soups in the winter - the powerful blending technology offers great flexibility since it offers the speed to blend to just the right creamy or chunky consistency. And since soup is a meal that can be made quickly on the weekend and freezes well into individual portions that can easily be reheated as a lunch or dinner up to 3 months later - its a great option for singles and families alike to stock up on!!!

I was really excited to make this fennel bean combo since fennel is a vegetable I always enjoy in salad but was having a hard time getting creative with other ways to incorporate into our diets. According to the World's Healthiest Foods website, fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps defend against free radical damage and also keeps the immune system strong and healthy. It is high in a specific phytonutrient called anethole, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. When paired with cannellini beans in this easy to prepare soup, it makes for a protein filled, unique creamy & delicious licorice/anise like flavor  that will leave you feeling warm and satisfied on a cold afternoon. Not to mention vegan and gluten free, my new favorite food buzz words :) Hope you like it!! 

Fennel Cannellini Bean Soup

1 leek, sliced thinly
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 15 ounce cartons of white cannellini beans
1 quart low sodium vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
2 bulbs fennel - chopped. Reserve fronds for garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil

Sautee garlic and leeks in olive oil in large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan until fragrant and translucent. Add chopped fennel and let cook for 15-20 minutes until soft over low heat. Add broth beans and bay leaf. Cook for 15 minutes or until beans are soft and easily mashed with a fork. Puree in vitamin, serve with chopped frond as garnish.