The Fennel Problem

Fennel. I never cooked with it before being a CSA member. I’ve only purchased it in a store once. I’ve no overwhelming desire or craving for fennel, yet it comes around a few times a year, every year.

What to do with the fennel?

Years ago, at a women’s meditation retreat, we made a shaved fennel and arugula salad that was delicious. I’m unsure where the recipe came from, but this one is close, if not it.

My primary use for fennel was actually a recipe that I found when looking to use up a surplus of pecans, oddly enough. I give you Sweet Pecan Fennel Soup.

I can’t, for the life of me, find the source for this recipe. I got it off of the internet easily a decade ago, and none of my Google voodoo is bringing it up. If you stumble across this and the recipe is yours, let me know so I can give you credit!

Sweet Pecan Fennel Soup

Serves: 8
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
2 large fennel bulbs with stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large leeks, chopped
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, plus more for topping
1/6 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups green tea, brewed
1 tablespoon honey
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt, plus more for topping
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 teaspoon fresh orange juice
1/3 cup pecans, ground

Directions: In a large skillet, sauté white onion and olive oil until caramelized, approximately 5 minutes. Add fennel and leeks; cook for 10 minutes or until soft.

Transfer mixture to a food processor, add remaining ingredients. Pulse until smooth.

Ladle soup into serving bowls. Garnish with additional Greek yogurt and fresh oregano leaves.

And now for my commentary. I’ve made it verbatim in the past, and it’s quite good. This time, I did not have any Greek yogurt in the house, so I used regular, and it came out fine. I also did not have green tea, so I subbed vegetable stock. Also fine. I estimate things like the seasonings (I’ve never seen 1/6 used before, so…) and I use an immersion blender rather than a food processor. It’s much less mess.

This recipe makes quite a bit of soup, and it’s surprisingly filling, so be prepared to package some up for the freezer.

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