Tuesday, October 13, 2009

For the Love of Fennel

A while back, Ken, a friend and fellow foodie, tried fennel, and suggested I try it. Fennel bulbs have a celery-like stem and feathery dark green foliage. Its bulb and stems can be baked, braised, or sliced and eaten raw in salads. Fennel has a licorice-like flavor that is sweeter and more delicate than anise and mellows somewhat when cooked. Intrigued, I went to my veggie man Shawn, and asked if he would find me some fennel. He, being ever so accommodating, added a beautiful fennel bulb to my veggie box the very next week. With great expectations, I placed it in the fridge, and promptly forgot all about it. When I found it sometime later, it was a shriveled shell of what it once was. Sadly, I threw it in the composter, while silently chastising myself for wasting the opportunity to try something new. Imagine my happiness when, a few weeks later, another lovely fennel bulb showed up in my veggie box. Vowing not to let this one go to waste, I promptly searched for some inspiration, and came up with this yummy soup. It is definitely worth trying! The original recipe, for White Bean with Fennel Soup came from Allrecipes.com.

Fennel, White Bean and Kale Soup

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium red onion, coarsely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small bulb fennel, trimmed and sliced

1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed and chopped

4 cups Chicken or veggie broth

1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid

1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Pinch of hot pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Sauté red onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes, then add sliced fennel. Continue sautéing for 5 minutes, and then add chopped Kale. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add broth, tomatoes, beans and spices. Bring to a boil, and then simmer on low for an hour.

Enjoy with a loaf of homemade bread for maximum culinary enjoyment!

1 comment:

  1. Fennel rules. Fennel seeds after a spicy meal help digestion too!