Vegetable soup with fennel

Yield: 10 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Great Northern beans (about 14 oz)
4 mediums Garlic cloves
1 large Tomato
1 small Fennel bulb
1 pounds Fresh spinach
1 pounds Fresh Swiss chard (OR additional spinach)
2 larges Russet potatoes (14 Oz)
2 larges Carrots
6 ounces Parmesan cheese
2 \N Fresh or (smoked) ham hocks (1 Lb)
2 tablespoons Olive oil
4 quarts Basic Broth (or water)
1 \N Bay leaf
1 pack Frozen corn (10 oz) (OR 4 ears fresh)
1 pack Frozen peas (10 oz) (OR 10 oz fresh)
\N \N Salt
\N \N Freshly-ground black pepper

PREPARATION: Rinse, pick over beans, and put them in a bowl of cold water to cover by 3 inches. Let stand for 24 hours; drain. (OR, put beans in a large saucepan with water to cover, bring to a boil, cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 1 hour; drain.) Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and coarsely chop the tomato. Cut the fennel into ¼-inch dice. Rinse spinach and Swiss chard and cut into ½-inch julienne strips. Peel potatoes and carrots; leave whole.

Grate the cheese (1½ cups).

COOKING: Put drained beans in a large saucepan; add ham hocks and 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and simmer for 20 minutes; drain.

Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in a 6-quart soup kettle, add fennel, spinach and Swiss chard, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in soup kettle. Add garlic and saute until golden, about 1 minute. Add the tomato and cook over low heat until tomato liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Add the beans, hocks, broth , and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add whole potatoes and carrots, cover and simmer until they are tender, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer potatoes and carrots to a large plate and mash with a potato masher. Return mashed mixture to the kettle, and stir in the spinach mixture, corn, and peas. Bring soup to a boil, then simmer, stirring and skimming foam from surface occasionally, until peas and corn are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt, if necessary.

SERVING: Ladle soup into warm bowls. Sprinkle with ground pepper and cheese.

Makes 10 to 12 main course servings.

[COOKS; Jan/Feb 1989] Posted by Fred Peters.

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