Fennel: My New Best Frond
Over half of all American adults don’t consume enough dietary fiber, and as many as 10 percent are deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help make sure you get the nutrients you need to enhance your health and prevent disease.
Fennel root, also known as fennel bulb or anise, is rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium and manganese. Fennel is a healthy vegetable I am now putting in my shopping cart. Fennel, packed with nutrients and low in calories, and is a highly aromatic vegetable, It also comes with a surprising number of health benefits. “Shape” magazine calls it one of the top 50 foods for weight loss.
I first tried fennel in a Moroccan dish also using chicken. That was such an amazing meal that I wanted to create a recipe for my family that would be a comfort food, one they will ask for over and over on those cold days, and even when they aren’t feeling so well. This soup tastes like a healing soup. I hope you will agree!
Fennel smells glorious and when cooked, fennel becomes a special kind of magic transforming a blah dish into something gourmet. The fennel works in three ways in this soup. The fennel stems chopped up to sweat along with onions and carrots as if it were celery; its white bulb is thinly sliced to dance in the soup as it is cooking, and the feathery, green fronds snipped from the tips of the plant as a finishing, ever-so-fragrant garnish. If you like fennel, here’s one way to use it bulb to frond. If you haven’t eaten fennel, you must try this soup! This is my variation of comfort food.
With all the added ingredients such as salt and chemicals that canned chicken contains, this is a better alternative providing the great nutrients into the pot. My family will not stop eating this and finishes off the pot very quickly. That is why this is a huge crock pot recipe of Lemon Chicken Fennel Soup!
Lemon Chicken Fennel Soup
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 45 hours
Total Time: 5 hours
- 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 3 cups leftover roasted chicken, no skin)
- 8 cups of organic chicken stock
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 t summer savory or your favorite herb
- 1 T parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Turn on crock pot and preheat on high while you are preparing the vegetables and cutting the chicken
- Roast the poblano pepper in your oven on broil or over an open flame on the stove. Place poblano on a baking sheet, and place the baking sheet on the top rack in the oven. Every fifteen minutes or so, open the oven and slightly turn the peppers. The goal is to brown it on all sides. This whole process takes about an 30 min-1 hour, but time will fly because the aroma that fills your kitchen will be so incredibly delicious. I usually roast several of them at once, and freeze the extras. Throw the poblano in a bowl and cover with a towel until cool. Peel the skin off and chop it.
- Rinse the fennel bulb and fronds well and pat them dry. Cut off the the stalks close to the bulb. First, rinse the bulb and fronds well and pat them dry. Cut off the the stalks close to the bulb. Slice fennel bulb and set aside. Remove feathery fronds from fennel to be used for garnish and a bit in the chicken soup pot. Chop fennel stocks.
- Cut chicken into small pieces. Chop Carrots, Onion, and Fennel, see video on site for how to cut fennel.
- Mince garlic.
- In a iron skillet, sautee the onions, carrots, garlic, and the green stems of the fennel bulb (chopped) in olive oil. Cook on medium low for about 8 minutes. Add all vegetables to crock pot.
- Add chicken and the rest of the ingredients except rice to the crock pot. When the crock pot starts to boil, add rice.
- If you want a little more lemon flavor, add more lemon juice at this time. Taste your soup and add salt and pepper to taste. You can add water or more chicken stock to make the soup less hearty (thick) and more like a soup!
- Add a bit of fennel fronds chopped up in the chicken pot at the end and stir.
- Cook on high for another hour and a half.
- Remove bay leaves and serve.
- Garnish bowls of soup with whole fennel fronds