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.
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.
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.
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.
1 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 1/2 fat