Fennel Soup with Watercress and Chickpeas

5 from 3 votes

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Fennel soup is one of my favorite vegetable soup recipes.

This fennel soup recipe features a blend of warm and savory ingredients, making it perfect for the chilly days of fall and beyond.

Like most soups, you can freeze it and enjoy it again and again, at home or at work!

Bowl of fennel soup garnished with watercress and and chickpeas, with recipe information.

About this

For most of my life, I haven’t been much of a soup maker.

This is a little strange because I grew up eating the stuff.

Lots of Campbell’s soup but more often my mom’s chicken soup with her homemade Mennonite noodles.

She made it loos so easy. Effortless even.

white bowl of fennel soup with watercresss and chickpeas as garnishes,
©Platter Talk

I don’t ever expect to match my mom’s finesse when it comes to making soup, or anything else.

But that’s not going to stop me from trying.

This fennel soup is a great example.

two spoons on a napkin with a bowl of vegetable soup garnished with watercress

One thing I love about making my own soup is knowing what is in it.

Just as important, I like to know what is not in it!

What’s in it

  • Chicken Broth
  • Fennel
  • Watercress
  • Chickpeas
  • Celery
  • Lemon
  • Cumin
  • White Wine
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Black Pepper

For this fennel soup recipe, I use our own chicken broth and a can of sodium-free chickpeas along with a handful of produce from our local grocer.

I love knowing there are little to no preservatives in this fennel soup.,

And not a grain of salt.

bowl of homemade vegetable soup in a white bowl.

The first time I made this easy homemade soup, I had some initial concern about the bland factor.

Still I resisted my urge to jiggle our salt shaker over the pot.  I’m happy I did.

A  little fresh lemon, some fresh ground peppercorn, and s pinch or so of crushed red peppers,  and zing!  

The flavor comes together.  Fresh,  hot, nutritious and hardy.

I  wish my mom was still around to taste this homemade soup. I’m pretty sure she would give it a thumbs up.

I think you will too!


Pro tip

Serve soup in a pre-heated bowl! In the old days, soup was served in cups (mugs) to help it to say hot for a longer time.

Dan from Platter Talk standing in the kitchen while on cooking television show.
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Fennel Soup with Watercress and Chickpeas

5 from 3 votes
Homemade fennel soup recipe that features of savory blend of fresh fennel, watercress, and chickpeas.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Yield: 4 people


  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 fennel bulb, washed and coarsely diced
  • 1 cups chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • splash of white wine
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch crushed red peppers
  • fresh ground peppercorn to taste
  • 1 15 oz can low sodium chickpeas
  • 1 bunch of watercress, washed and stems removed


  • Using large sauce pan or stock pot, heat olive oil or medium high heat.
  • Add fennel and celery, stir and sautée until soft but not brown.
  • Add wine to deglaze pot.
  • Add broth and lemon juice, bring to a simmer then cover and reduce heat.
  • Allow to cook 1-2 hours.
  • Use immersion blender to blend to desired consistency. Add 1/2 can of chickpeas and blend. Add remaining chickpeas and keep whole.
  • Add cumin, fresh ground peppercorn and crushed red pepper to taste.
  • Ladle hot soup into soup bowls, add watercress immediately.
  • Serve while hot, preferably into pre-heated soup bowls.


Vegetable broth may be substituted for the chicken broth to provide a completely vegetarian soup.


Calories: 178kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1228mg, Potassium: 678mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 209IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 97mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!
Updated from the original post of December 8, 2014

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. This soup looks and sounds amazing! We love the ingredients in this one- especially the spices -so healthy!

  2. You have out done yourselves with this one! I love fennel and get it often in our farm box, but I have never thought to use it in a soup. This goes on my must try asap list 🙂

  3. What a beautiful and elegant soup. Not only does it look gorgeous, I’m pretty sure it tastes fabulous!