Thursday, February 23, 2012

Italian Tomato Stew with Fennel, Mushrooms and Spinach


Italian Tomato Stew with Fennel, Mushrooms and Spinach recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen


When I discovered how frequently fennel is used in Italian cooking, that was all the reason I needed to put together another variety of Italian soup. Did you know that the entire fennel plant can be eaten? I wanted to use the rest of the fennel from my Chow Box, so I saved the stalks and leaves from the fennel bulb I used earlier this week and put them in this soup. This is closer to a chowder or a stew than a soup. If you prefer more broth in your soup, simply add a few cups of broth and adjust the seasonings as needed.

The flavors in this soup worked really great together. I absolutely loved what the fennel provided in combination with the other vegetables. Normally, sausage is a pretty strong flavor in a soup (and I really like that!) however, the vegetables were dominant this time. We all liked this soup and I will definitely be using fennel this way again.

Italian Tomato Stew with Fennel, Mushrooms and Spinach
(printable recipe)

1 lb hot sausage
1/2 red onion, chopped small
1 scallion, chopped finely
stalks and leaves from 1 fennel bulb, stalks sliced thinly and leaves roughly chopped
6 large mushrooms, roughly chopped, about 1 cup pieces
1 large tomato, chopped small or 1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 can Italian stewed tomatoes
2 cups water
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups baby spinach leaves, add a bit more if not using kale with the spinach
Optional: 1-2 cups chopped kale, I used the last of my peacock kale
generous amount of finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese or Parmesan cheese

In the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven, cook and crumble the sausage. Add the onions and fennel and cook a few more minutes, just until the onions start to soften. Add all remaining ingredients, EXCEPT for the kale and spinach. Simmer for half an hour. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Add the greens and stir to combine. Simmer for just a few minutes, until they are slightly softened and wilted. Top individual servings with plenty of shredded cheese. Enjoy!

Italian Tomato Stew with Fennel, Mushrooms and Spinach recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

10 comments:

  1. I had NO idea that you could use the leaves of the fennel also! This choweder/stew sounds amazing. I love all of these fresh flavors and it's totally something I'd crave!

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  2. I have just discovered fennel and am always looking for recipes to use it in...This one will be great!

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  3. I love a good soup, especially tomato based.

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  4. I love fennels & I 'm sure your soup taste real yummy! Looks super delicious! :)

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  5. With my wife Liz being half Italian/serious foodie I have learned to enjoy fennel in my daily life and in a few Italian dishes. I'll be sure to share this recipe with her, as it sounds fantastic. :-)

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  6. i love the simplicity of dishes like this! it sounds packed with flavour and totally scrummy!

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  7. It's rare that I think of a vegetable dish as "hearty" but I'd say this definitely is!

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  8. I hate to say that I have never cooked with fresh fennel - sad:-(. Love the taste of it though in sausage and I very often the seeds to my lasagna. Beautiful picks and again - love all the veggies you packed in here, Mary.

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