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Posts Tagged ‘fennel’

The last few days have been unbelievably beautiful — warm, with soft golden light, and the leaves which have just begun to color slowly drifting to the ground. More of the same is predicted for tomorrow and the next day. Not really soup weather at all. However, cold and rainy weather is out there somewhere in our not too distant future and I look forward to making this again.


Exactly how I’m feeling–I found this quote by chance on a lovely looking site called Kitchenography– Life in my Kitchen.

SERENDIPITY! 

Soup is what I’m feeling like tonight.

The days are summer days–the evenings and nights are autumn.

So that’s why I have a yen for soup–I understand–often you have to put it into words and then it becomes clear.

I’d bought some leeks and fennel and I’m starting with an onion.

for 2

1 medium onion–peeled and chopped

1lb/450 gms leeks–cleaned and chopped

1 medium fennel bulb–cleaned and chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pint/525 ml vegetable stock–I use an organic stock cube

  • Sweat the onion for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the leeks and fennel and sweat all three for ten minutes, covered, until they soften.
  • Season well with pepper and a little salt.
  • Add a pint of vegetable stock.
  • Simmer gently for twenty minutes.
  • Liquidise the soup and check the seasoning.
  • If you feel the soup is to thick add a little extra water.
  • Serve hot.

I topped it tonight with sautéed onion:

1 tablespoon olive oil

Half a medium onion–peeled and sliced thin

  • Sauté the onion in the oil until it is nicely browned.
  • Twirl a little on each bowlful of soup.

I put a sweet potato in the oven and we  had a half each after the soup with some new season broccoli.

[Which makes it a five vegetable meal to boot!!]

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This is taken from my book: Delicious Dishes for Diabetics which was published in August and is being reprinted–(hooray!).

Based on a recipe from Richard Olney’s Simple French Food, it’s useful company for pork or chicken. It can also serve as a vegetarian main course with some white beans or chickpeas.

The initial cooking helps to caramelize the fennel lightly–so it’s worth taking the time.

Serves 4

2 large or 4 medium fennel bulbs – tough outer part removed, cleaned up and quartered or cut into eighths, if the bulbs are very large

6 or more cloves of garlic – unpeeled, hooray!

3 tablespoons of olive oil 

salt and pepper 

6 tablespoons of water 

  • Put the fennel and the garlic in a pan large enough to hold all the quarters in a single layer.
  • Add the olive oil and a little salt.
  • Cook, uncovered, on a medium-low heat for 20 minutes, turning as the fennel colours–it should be nicely caramelized by the end.
  • Add the water, cover the pan and cook slowly until the fennel is super tender–about 30–40 minutes.
  • The quarters should hold their shape and be infused with a deliciously mild taste of the garlic.
  • Adjust the seasoning and serve.

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The “Food Pyramid” was an early post back in February.
In a campaign backed by the First Lady Michelle Obama, this has now been replaced (by the USDA — the American Department of Agriculture)  by “My Plate”.
The new icon sets out on “your plate”  –a guide to a healthy, balanced way of eating.
In principle anyway, it is simpler and more logical than the pyramid image–we eat off plates not pyramids–though I don’t find it visually pleasing.
Will its message get through?…
We have just finished lunch
and without intending to–it was stuff I found in the refrigerator– I ended up pretty much following the guidelines.
It was a Salad of:-      (protein, grain, vegetable, and dairy)
chickpeas (pg)–out of a tin or, as in my case, dried, soaked overnight, then simmered in water until tender
with thinly sliced/chopped fennel  (v)
some chunks of avocado (v)
a small cucumber, de-seeded and chopped (v)
thinly-sliced red onion (v)
small pieces of cooked chicken breast (p)
a few black olives (v)
some cubes of goats cheese with (dp)
chopped parsley (v)
with an olive oil and lemon juice dressing–oh and a few dry roasted (in a frying pan) pumpkin seeds(pv) scattered over, seasoned with salt and pepper.
And–we ate it off  plates!

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