Summer Soup with Fennel

I've always had a thing for soup, and if it's honest with itself I think soup has probably always had a thing for me. I know that soup is not typical summer fare, but this soup is too good to only eat when it's cold outside. It's fresh and easy and a great way to take advantage of the summer veggies. So head to the farmer's market and pick up a lovely bulb of fennel or wait until your CSA box is overflowing with summer squash (you know it will happen) and use it in this soup! 

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I'm always looking for another excuse to use fennel. I love chopping it up and inhaling the amazing scent. Fennel is in the celery family, but has a much deeper and more complex taste. I used to make a pasta with fennel and Italian sausage. I was missing it and decided to make a Paleo-friendly dish with the same combo (minus the pasta and cheese). If you can tolerate legumes, the white beans make this soup hearty enough for the coldest winter night as well. 

For this soup you will use only the bulb part of the fennel. You can cut off the stalks and discard them. 

For this soup you will use only the bulb part of the fennel. You can cut off the stalks and discard them. 

ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 large bulb fennel chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 28oz. can stewed tomatoes (drained)
  • 32oz. chicken broth (or more if you are adding more veggies)
  • 1 green zucchini sliced into circles (or half circles if it's a large zucchini)
  • 1 yellow summer squash sliced into circles
  • 1 can of great northern white beans (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or dried)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make the soup:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the garlic and sausage and cook until browned. 
  2. Add the fennel and onion and continue cooking for about 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Add the tomatoes and stir for one minute.
  4. Then add the broth, zucchini, summer squash, beans if using them, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. 
  5. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until veggies are slightly tender (about 13-15 minutes). 

So on that next rainy summer day, gather up your veggies and give this soup a shot. The rest of my fam likes to top it with shredded parmesan cheese, but we won't talk about that here. I like to serve it with my rosemary almond thins

Hey soup, welcome to summer!

Eat up!