The licorice flavor of fresh fennel is reinforced by fennel seeds in this easy Italian healthful chicken soup.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken meat
1 large fennel bulb
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups Chicken Stock
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
1 head escarole
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Trim chicken of all visible fat, and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes. Rinse fennel and cut in half lengthwise. Discard core and ribs. Dice bulb into 3⁄4-inch pieces. Place chicken and fennel in the slow cooker.
2. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Scrape mixture into the slow cooker.
3. Stir stock, tomatoes, and fennel seeds into the slow cooker, and stir well. Cook on Low for 5 to 7 hours or on High for 21⁄2 to 3 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. While soup cooks, rinse escarole and discard core. Slice escarole into strips 1-inch wide.
4. If cooking on Low, raise the heat to High. Add escarole to the slow cooker, and cook for an additional 30 to 40 minutes, or until escarole is wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot, passing cheese separately.
Note: The soup can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Reheat it, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally.
From Italian Slow Cooking
Fresh fennel, finocchio in Italian, and sometimes called anise in supermarkets, has a slightly licorice taste but the texture of celery—both raw and cooked. You can always substitute 2 celery ribs for each 1⁄2 fennel bulb specified in a recipe.
Cider Mill Press loves slow cookers (especially during our cold Maine winters!), so we've developed a cookbook for every lifestyle! Our eight cookbooks feature everything from Gluten-Free to Paleo to Low-Acid and Low-Carb meals for the slow cooker, with recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and side dishes.