Fennel and Sweet Potato Soup

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It's hard to believe with the glorious sunny weather we've been having on the Gold Coast, but it's still officially winter here! The chilly mornings make me crave warm comfort food like this hearty soup. The secret ingredient to its tantalising aroma is a special essential oil blend that is fast becoming a favourite in savoury cooking for me. Fennel is also a favourite of mine - it's an excellent source of vitamin C, which is vital for the immune system and has strong antioxidant-promoting effects.

This recipe is vegan, gluten-free and soy-free!

Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings):

1 fennel bulb plus stems and fronds
1 eschallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small chunk of fresh turmeric, finely chopped
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
6 cups filtered water
6 drops Young Living "Taste of Italy" essential oil blend
fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Celtic sea salt to taste

1. Saute eschallot, garlic and turmeric in coconut oil until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
2. Add all fennel bits and saute for another 7 minutes.
3. Add sweet potato, rosemary, water and essential oil blend and simmer until sweet potato is cooked, about 15 minutes. 
4. Cool slightly and blend in high-speed blender until smooth.
5. Garnish with parsley and coconut cream.

Note: you can replace the eschallot with red or brown onion.