Funky Fennel

It’s fennel season!  This funny looking vegetable has a delicate and sweet flavor.  If you like Italian food you have probably eaten lots of fennel seeds.  That’s great, but have you ever brought one of these little critters home?  They are packed with flavor and every part of it is edible.  The stalks and stems are a great addition to homemade veggie stock and the bulb is what I’ve been playing with lately.  First up is a fennel and carrot puree.  You have to try this even if you don’t have a baby eating purees, just skip the puree and enjoy the beautiful roasted veggies.  The white bean and rainbow chard soup is delicious and seriously healthy!!

Roasted Fennel and Carrot Puree

  • 1/2 a Fennel Bulb, sliced
  • 3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a shallow roasting pan toss the carrots and fennel with olive oil.

Roast for 15 minutes, stir, add water and cover with foil.  Roast for another 15-20 minutes until fork tender.  Puree to desired consistency or for older babies mash with a fork and this can be a finger food.

White Bean Soup with Rainbow Chard

  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1/2 a Fennel Bulb, diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, diced
  • 32 ounces Chicken Stock
  • 2 cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 to 3 inch Rind from Pecorino Romano Cheese (yes, I’m serious…it’s so good!)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 bunch Rainbow Chard, remove stems and chop leaves in bite size pieces

Saute the onion, fennel and celery for about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and saute an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the stock, scraping up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

Add the beans, water, Romano cheese rind and bay leaf.  Simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes.

Add the chard and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and cheese rind before serving.  Serve with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

 

 

 

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