YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Fennel Vegetable Soup

The folks where I work are always coming up with the most sublimely delicious recipes. This is one. If you’ve never eaten fennel, you are in for a delicious treat. Raw, it’s crunchy and sweet, a bit like celery with a faint whiff of licorice. Cooked it’s a different vegetable altogether. A great addition to any vegetable soup recipe, it is a total team player, happily absorbing other flavors from the pot at the same time as it shares its own. Fennel comes in bulbs, and the easiest way to cut it up, no matter how you intend to use it, is to slice it in half from top to bottom, and then to slice the half-bulb into thin blades, all of equal length and width, as you work around the bulb.

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thin
2 ribs celery, rinsed and sliced very thin
1 medium bulb fennel (sliced, top to bottom around the bulb, into thin blades)
1 tsp. Kosher salt
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 cups kale, washed VERY well, deveined and shredded
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Instructions:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, until softening, stirring often. 2. Add garlic, carrots, celery, and fennel. Stir often, approx 5 minutes more, until vegetables begin to wilt.
3. Add tomatoes, kale, 5 cups water, salt and pepper.
4. Allow to boil, immediately reduce heat to medium, and simmer 25-30 minutes, until all vegetables are tender. Stir in the parsley and serve. Serves 4.

Thank you to ClevelandClinicwellness.com for a prior version of this beautiful recipe.


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Roasted Brussels Sprouts Celebration

If you love sweet, and who doesn’t?!, then you are going to love this recipe! Roasted Brussels sprouts and fennel actually become sweet by a process called caramelization, which happens during the roasting process. That sweet flavor continues to linger in your mouth in a delicious and satisfying way, and it makes this a fantastic dish for a special occasion like New Years Eve. All the work of this recipe is in the vegetable prep, by the way, and after that it’s relatively hands-off. So if you can find a partner to help get the veggies ready, it goes even faster. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Tomato & Fennel Pasta Sauce

Two of my favorite things: tomatoes and fennel! This is totally the “sauce of the season,” with fresh herbs and a simple strategy for bringing out the natural sweetness of all the ingredients. If you are not a big fan of pasta, then try cooking some turkey meatballs in this sauce, or pour it over a little pile of tofu cubes, or poach a few eggs in it. Then again you could serve it with a pan of polenta or a bowl of quinoa, or use it to make a tray of lasagna. You choose! Continue reading