Instant Pot Carrot & Fennel Soup

Have some fun in the kitchen with this vibrant IBD-friendly soup; it’s full of anti-inflammatory ingredients and antioxidants.

Wintertime might have you craving warmth and comforting soups. If you think soups are too difficult to make, try this recipe! With less than 10 ingredients and a pressure-cooker, this fennel soup recipe will prepare you for a decadent meal in less than 30 minutes. You can enjoy this fennel soup as a comforting appetizer, paired with your lunch, or as a side with dinner.

What is Fennel Soup Made of?

Fennel soup is made of the fennel bulb and other ingredients of your choosing. This recipe includes carrots and onions. Additional flavor comes from garlic, ginger, and a secret sweetness from the apple.

What Makes Fennel Soup Good for You?

Any meal that ups your intake of foods that are anti-inflammatory or contain antioxidants can reduce inflammation and the risk of cancer, are great to include in your IBD journey.

Fennel is one of those special ingredients! Read more below about the benefits of Carrot Fennel Soup for helping manage IBD symptoms.

What Part of the Fennel do You Use in Soup?

Fennel bulbs are the bottom white part that can be chopped like celery to add to the soup. When you find it in the store, the green stalks and leafy fronds may also be connected. The green stalk can be harder to chew because of its stringy fibers, but the whole plant is edible.

What Does Fennel Taste Like in Soup?

Fennel is considered an herb. When cooked with ingredients like chopped onions, it adds a sweet aromatic flavor.

Ingredients in Carrot Fennel Soup for IBD

Carrot & Fennel Soup is a delicious way to get a good source of key nutrients such as potassium and iron, which are important for IBD warriors to maintain. Just one serving of this soup is rich in Vitamin A, and a good source of Vitamin K.

Carrots

Carrots contain antioxidants called phenols and carotenoids, which can help reduce the risk of cancer. Soluble fiber in carrots helps feed your gut bacteria and retains moisture for softer stools. Carrots also contain insoluble fibers, which can help prevent constipation.

Fennel

Fennel contains Vitamin C, which can help restore damaged tissue in the body. Vitamin C and another antioxidant called Quercetin work to protect against damaging free radicals and help reduce inflammation.

Ginger

Ginger is a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredient that can help decrease risks of colorectal cancer. Some studies have found that ginger has similar effects as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, without the risk of damaging the stomach lining.

How to make Instant Pot Carrot & Fennel Soup

On the “sealing” setting of your Instant Pot, add all ingredients to cook for 10 minutes on high pressure with a manual pressure release. Let it cool a little. Then use an immersion blender to purée the soup. Garnish with fresh or dried herbs.

Do I Have to Puree My Soup?

When you’re experiencing a flare, pureeing vegetables makes the nutrients easily available for your body to absorb without causing more irritation. This soup would still taste great if you kept the ingredients chopped. It would just have a different texture.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can carefully use a regular blender or food processor instead. Always be careful of hot splashes!

How Do I Meal Prep with Soup?

One serving of this soup equals about 1 cup. Store this in containers in your fridge for up to 4 days. It’s also freezer friendly and will stay good frozen for up to 3 months.

How Do I Defrost Soup Safely?

Move it from the freezer to the fridge, and it will naturally defrost over 1-2 days. To speed things up, you can place the frozen soup container straight into a bowl with warm water, or you can run the container under warm water until it separates enough to plop the frozen soup into a pot over the stove.

Does Fennel Carrot Soup Fit My Diet Plan?

This soup is a great addition to many Crohn’s and Colitis friendly diet plans:

  • Autoimmune Protocol Diet 
  • Beef-Free 
  • Corn-Free 
  • Dairy-Free 
  • Egg-Free 
  • Gluten-Free 
  • Grain-Free 
  • Kosher 
  • Legume-Free 
  • Low-Glycemic 
  • Low-Lectin
  • Mediterranean Diet 
  • Nightshade-Free 
  • Nut-Free 
  • Paleo Diet 
  • Pescatarian Diet 
  • Pork-Free 
  • Seafood-Free 
  • Soy-Free 
  • Specific Carbohydrate Diet 
  • Sugar-Free 
A vibrant, healthy meal setup with two bowls of creamy carrot ginger soup garnished with parsley, surrounded by fresh ingredients including whole carrots, ginger root, and green basil leaves. Croutons are scattered beside the bowls, all presented on a dark wood surface with a beige linen napkin underneath.

Instant Pot Carrot & Fennel Soup

Renata Cauchon-Robles and Danielle Gaffen, MS, RDN, LD
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Lunch, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 116 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
  • 1 Hand Blender, Blender, or Food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger minced
  • 3 medium Carrots peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 medium Fennel Bulb chopped
  • 1 medium Apple peeled, chopped
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth low sodium
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Instructions
 

  • Add all of the ingredients to the instant pot and close the lid.
  • Set to “sealing”, then press manual/pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes on high pressure. Once it is done, release the pressure manually. Remove the lid carefully and let the soup mixture cool slightly.
  • Using a hand blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add additional broth if needed until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Divide between bowls and enjoy!

Notes

Leftovers
 Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days.
Serving Size
 One serving size is equal to approximately one cup.
Additional Toppings
 Top with your choice of cooked protein. Fresh herbs like dill, parsley, or fronds from the fennel.
No Hand Blender
 Use a blender or food processor instead.
Thinner Consistency
 Add more broth as needed based on the desired consistency.
Carrot Softness for Pureeing
 After cooking for the initial 10 minutes, use a fork to test the softness of the carrots. If they aren’t soft enough for enough for easy pureeing, you can cook them for an additional 2-5 minutes under high pressure to ensure they blend smoothly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 116kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 380mgPotassium: 475mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 7949IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Autoimmune Protocol Diet, beef-free, coconut-free, corn-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, kosher, legume-free, low-glycemic, meal-prep, Mediterranean, nightshade-free, nut-free, one-pan, Paleo, pork-free, pureed, rice-free, seafood-free, soy-free, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, sugar-free, unprocessed

Take-Home Message

Carrot & Fennel Soup is a delicious addition to any meal for IBD warriors. It’s even great during a flare! It is easy to make, is dairy-free, and provides key nutrients like potassium and iron.

Still curious?

References

  1. de Castro MM, Pascoal LB, Steigleder KM, et al. Role of diet and nutrition in inflammatory bowel disease. World J Exp Med. 2021;11(1):1-16. Published 2021 Jan 20. doi:10.5493/wjem.v11.i1.1
  2. Katz R. Tips for freezing soup now, so it’ll actually taste good later. Food52 Web site. https://food52.com/blog/17895-our-every-question-on-freezing-thawing-soup-answered. Updated 2020-08-18 09:30:00 -0400. Accessed Jan 9, 2024.
  3. Bjarnadottir A. MS, RDN. Carrots 101: Nutrition facts and health benefits. Healthline Web site. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/carrots. Updated 2019. Accessed Jan 9, 2024.
  4. Kubala J. MS, RDN. 10 science-based benefits of fennel and fennel seeds. Healthline Web site. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fennel-and-fennel-seed-benefits. Updated 2019. Accessed Jan 9, 2024. 
  5. Olendzki BC, Silverstein TD, Persuitte GM, Ma Y, Baldwin KR, Cave D. An anti-inflammatory diet as treatment for inflammatory bowel disease: a case series report. Nutr J. 2014;13:5. Published 2014 Jan 16. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-5
  6. Ballester P, Cerdá B, Arcusa R, Marhuenda J, Yamedjeu K, Zafrilla P. Effect of Ginger on Inflammatory Diseases. Molecules. 2022;27(21):7223. Published 2022 Oct 25. doi:10.3390/molecules27217223

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About the Author

Danielle Gaffen, MS, RDN, LD

Danielle Gaffen, MS, RDN, LD

Understanding the link between nutrition and gut disease prompted me to obtain my master’s degree in Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University and become an IBD Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Now I work with people who have Crohn’s and colitis who are struggling with confusion around what to eat. My favorite part is helping them to build confidence to eat without fear while managing their symptoms.

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