Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins
Entered for safe-keeping, from Better Homes & Gardens' "Cook's Secrets: 62 Recipes You'll Want to Make Forever". If you have never tried fresh fennel, it is best in spring, as is asparagus. Fresh tomatoes in our local markets are usually disappointing, so I buy canned whole Roma tomatoes; in this recipe a 14.5-oz. can of good-quality diced tomatoes would work well, and I would include the juice. If you have a piece of Parmesan rind on hand, toss it in, too. See bhg.com/CSProduce for a chart of peak times for spring veggies.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped (1 large)
- 1⁄2 cup fresh fennel, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 (14 1/2 ounce) cans vegetable broth (5 1/4 cups) or 3 (14 1/2 ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth (5 1/4 cups)
- 1 1⁄2 lbs fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups)
- 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (2 1/2 cups)
- 3 medium roma tomatoes, chopped (1 cup) or 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, snipped
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- parmesan cheese, shredded, for garnish (optional)
- snipped fresh basil, for garnish (optional)
- (To prep fennel, carefully cut off and discard stalks. Remove any wilted outer layers and cut a thin slice from the base of the bulb. Cut out and discard the tough core. Cut the fennel bulb into quarters. Chop quarters into 1/2-inch pieces.).
- (To prep asparagus, start at the base end of each spear and bend the spear until you find a place where it breaks easily. Break off the woody base and discard. If desired, use a knife or vegetable peeler to remove the tiny scales from the stalk.).
- In a 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, fennel, and garlic; cook for 8-10 minutes or until onion is tender and starts to caramelize, stirring frequently.
- Stir in broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Stir in asparagus, zucchini and tomatoes. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 5 minutes or more or just until zucchini is tender.
- Stir in the 2 tablespoons snipped basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve in soup bowls. If desired, sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese and additional fresh basil.
We really liked this. I do wish that I had chopped the tomatoes and asparagus up more then I did. I did back off the liquid a bit. I used 4 cups of water and a combination of vegetable and chicken bouillon. I used only one zucchini but I could have used two. I also only used half a fennel bulb. I think you could adapt this recipe to suit a lot of different veggies.