Fennel & Rice Soup

January/February 1996

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A triple shot of fennel—fresh fennel, fennel fronds and fennel seed—infuse this simple soup with rich flavor. Serve with slices of “Kneadless” Black Olive & Herb Yeast Loaves for dunking.

Fennel & Rice Soup

Makes: 4 servings, 1 1/4 cups each

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  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 46-ounce can or three 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth, (about 5 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large large fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped (2 cups), plus 1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds for garnish
  • 3/4 cup medium-grain rice, such as arborio
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Crush garlic cloves with the flat of a chef’s knife (do not peel). Crush fennel seeds and peppercorns with a heavy saucepan. Tuck the garlic, fennel seeds and peppercorns into a tea infuser (or cheesecloth bag) and place it in a large saucepan. Add broth and bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, until reduced to 4 cups, 15 to 20 minutes, skimming off any froth that rises to the surface.
  2. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and fennel and cook, stirring, until softened and very lightly colored, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and stir for 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute.
  3. Pour in the reduced broth (including the tea infuser) and return to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat until the rice is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the tea infuser (or cheesecloth bag). Stir in the chopped fennel fronds, season with pepper and serve with Parmesan.


Per serving: 198 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 10 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 3 g fiber; 263 mg sodium; 324 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (17% daily value).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 1/2 fat

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Everyday favorites
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January/February 1996
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