So, What to do with all that fennel…

Let’s toss in a little magic too

Eating seasonally

A plan

The execution

A little time, a lot of reward

Fennel Vegetable Stock

Some to use now, a couple of jars for the freezer.
  • Large bunch of fennel stalks and fronds and bulb trimmings, chopped
  • Large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
  • S&P

Tomato and Fennel Soup

  • 1 large onion, small dice
  • About a cup of fennel stalks, small dice
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Splash of red wine, optional
  • 1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes, crushed up
  • 1 quart fennel vegetable stock
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, or vegan Parmesan, optional

Fennel Pesto

  • Large handful of fennel fronds
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup Parmesan or vegan Parm
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
The flowers are just starting to open on my fennel plants in the backyard. Once all the pretty little yellow flowers are open, I will pick and air dry them, crush them up a bit, and use this ‘Spice of the Angels’ or ‘Fairy Dust’ as a last finish where I want a complex fennel/citrus flavor that is outrageously full and unique. Better than the crushed seeds, but harder to come by!

Coming soon…

Delicata Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice and Fennel

Baked Fennel Au Gratin

Supporter of:  Slow Food       Fair Trade USA       Northeast Organic Farmers Association     EcoWatch    Let’s Save Our Planet No Kid Hungry   Hunger Free Vermont Environmental Working Group World Central Kitchen Sustainable America

71 Comments Add yours

  1. I love fennel and some great ideas here!

    1. Thank you! It’s one of my favorites too. I think that’s obvious!

  2. lisinmayenne says:

    What a wonderful vibrant homage to fennel, it’s such a versatile vegetable and I love it. It won’t grow in my garden for love nor money but I keep a plant each year just for the seeds which are a favourite to graze on as I wander round. 😊

    1. Thanks Lis! The seeds are so delicious, and I love the image of you strollig around that beautiful garden grazing on the little treats!

  3. terrie gura says:

    I am so impressed by all of this, Dot! That image of the tomato soup with the pesto toast is enough on its own to send me swooning, but now I also am glad to know all the history and tradition around fennel. So glad to have a friend who enjoys it as much as I do, and I’m looking forward to your “coming soon” recipes! Excellent job, Fennel Queen!!!

    1. Thanks so much Terrie! Dunking that toast in the soup was the best thing I ate this week! I just wanted more!
      It was tons of fun making these dishes, and surprisingly not as much work as one might think. I was going to stuff the little squash from the farmers market with wild rice anyway, so adding the fennel stems was pretty easy and added a nice texture and very subtle flavor. More to come!

  4. NativeNM says:

    I’ve never had fennel other than dried fennel seeds, is there a difference in the taste? Just curious.

    1. All parts of the fennel plant have that slightly licorice flavor. The seeds and flowers have the strongest flavor, the bulb in more mild, especially when cooked.

  5. Love fennel, and these dishes bring it to it’s top. Will try the pesto soon! 🙂

    1. Thanks Ronit! It was all so good, and all so different!

  6. Suzassippi says:

    Be still my heart! What a beautiful bunch of fennel offerings. I can just imagine that soup and crostini!

    1. Thanks Suz! That soup was so good on a chilly day. It hit all the comfort food notes, especially the little crostini!

  7. Oh I love fennel!! And what a lot of work putting this post together. I wish I had some handy to get busy. Thank you so much!!

    1. It ended up being a challenge to myself, and I loved everything that came of it. I doubt I’ll ever just toss those stems on the compost again!

  8. Love all these ideas with fennel! I never know what to do wth my fennel bulbs. Love the idea of fennel stock!! And the tomato fennel soup looks divine!

  9. Fabulous fennel recipes! I never know what to do with fennel bulbs, these are great ideas. I love the fennel broth idea! And the tomato and fennel soup looks divine!

    1. Thank you! I set a challenge for myself not to waste all that vegetable matter, and I think I succeeded in coming up with some good ideas that didn’t overwhelm us!

  10. I love fennel, raw, cooked, braised yet I’ve never tried fennel stock. Sound wonderful and it is on my list to make this week. Thank you!

    1. Thank you! It’s a great starting point for so much., with that lovely flavor.

  11. Without a doubt, you create the healthiest recipes around. Looks delicious.

    1. Thanks Judy! It was fun putting this all together.

  12. Fennel is sublime. My favourite was just to have it roasted.

    1. Roasted fennel is one of my favorites, too! So sweet and delicious.

  13. Misky says:

    Emptied the greenhouse of tomatoes and capsicums, roasted them with garlic, then pressed the whole lot through a food mill. Managed to get about 750ml of lovely, sweet passata. That tomato soup looks delicious. I often add some crumbled blue cheese to my tomato soup.

    1. Good work Misky! I don’t know what I’d do without my food mill! The original, and most efficient, food processor.
      The blue cheese sounds wonderful in the tomato soup. I know it must be good because I make a broiled tomato topped with blue cheese and breadcrumbs and it’s out of this world.

      1. Misky says:

        Those tomatoes are so sweet that you’d swear I tossed in a load of sugar!

      2. This is the best tomato time!

  14. Kevin says:

    Some great ideas. I like how you make use of all parts of the plant and nothing goes to waste.

    1. Thanks Kevin. That was the main thought about this post. There was so much besides the bulb, I had to use it, and delightfully so!

  15. ckennedy says:

    Great post! I rarely cook with fennel, but there are so many great ideas here that I’ll just have to whip up some soup and fennel pesto–yum!!!

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Especially that crostini dunked in the soup!

  16. Thank you for these recipes. I love fennel and especially like that every part is edible!

    1. Don’t you just love a vegetable that gives all? There’s so much to appreciate here.

  17. Eha says:

    Wow! I love fennel as most here but, it seems, have been totally unimaginative using it. Thank you for all you have put down here and for what is to come . . . I would never ever have thought of the stock or the pesto!!!Want to try cook rice in that stock first of all . . . after I have told a lot of friends . . . yippee . . . !

    1. Enjoy all that fennel goodness!!!

  18. nancyc says:

    I haven’t used fennel much in any recipes, but I want to try the Tomato and Fennel Soup and Fennel Pesto sometime! They both look delicious! 🙂

    1. Thanks Nancy! They were quite tasty! Enjoy!

  19. Forestwood says:

    All these ways to use Fennel sounds yummy! It is a vegetable not commonly seen in the veggie section at the supermarket so I might have to try to grow some myself. I like the sounds of the Tomato and fennel soup the best but will definitely keep it in mind for bolstering casseroles too. Thanks, Dorothy.

    1. Don’t forget those lovely stems!

  20. Woohoo! I love fennel. Such a lot of tasty ways to use it. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Laurie! It’s definitely an underused vegetable, especially the extra parts!

  21. I have never been a fennel fan, but, now might be the opportunity to take another taste of this strange vegetable. These recipes look rather edible! Hugs, C

    1. Thank you Cheryl! It’s always worth another try!

  22. Americaoncoffee says:

    Fresh Fennel is truly wholesome. You’ve spelled out the nutrients well. I have only experienced the taste of Fennel as a dried herb.🤗

    1. Ah, then you are in for a treat!

  23. You have written a true ode to fennel! I rarely cook with it, but it is a wonderful ingredient. Thanks for all the various ways to use and enjoy it!

    1. Thanks Jenna! I really hate to see all the beautiful stems and fronds sent to the compost when they can become wonderful ingredients on their own.

  24. Nancy says:

    What wonderful ideas! The stuffed Delicata Squash looks amazing, along with the au gratin. Mmmmm!
    And I applaud you, as this was a lot of hard work to put this post together!
    Happy October!

    1. Thank you! The post was longer than usual, but I thought it was important to go through the steps, none of which were difficult or too time consuming.

      1. Nancy says:

        We thank you!

  25. I never thought about using fennel for stock, what a great idea Dorothy!

  26. Thanks for the gentle reminder to use some fennel again – soon!

    1. It’s so good, and good for you!

  27. Gail says:

    I loooove fennel. Send me some! 🍂🌿

    1. Don’t worry! I have plenty, here you go…

      1. Gail says:


  28. Christy B says:

    Wonderful fennel dishes! Your mom would be so proud of how you made use of this seasonal ingredient xx

    1. Thanks Christy! That’s one of the nicest things anyone could say to me!

  29. Elizabeth says:

    My favorite use of fennel is a sheet pan dinner with shallots, bone in chicken thighs, red pepper slices, lemon and fennel. At the end you stir in arugula. It is a terrific and easy supper. Now what do you do with kohlrabi?(my latest CSA produce)

    1. I love kohlrabi, and I just pick up a big, beautiful purple one yesterday at my csa. It is destined to be sliced up for our stir-fry, tossed in just for a bit at the end so it stays crispy like a water chestnut. I also love it raw with a flavorful dip. It’s good roasted too!

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Thanks. I like the idea of tossing it into the stir fry, especially since we also got bok choy.

  30. I wouldn’t  get tired of the fennel either and you sure made good use of the two fennel bulbs.

  31. Julia says:

    The first time I had fennel was in my early twenties. I had a little herb garden and I was curious about fennel, so I grew some. It is a beautiful plant. My fennel was discovered by black swallowtail butterflies and I had their caterpillars eating the fennel. Since I love black swallowtail butterflies, I just left the caterpillars alone. We (Bruce, my two year old daughter, and I) got to watch an black swallowtail butterfly emerge from its chrysalis that was attached to a fennel stem. I was still able to try out the fennel bulbs later in the year. I love roasted fennel and thin fennel slices in salad.

    1. Oh, what beautiful memories Julia! I know they love flowers that are flattish.
      So we get to share with nature and enjoy the bulbs later!

  32. What to do with all that fennel? Send it over here 😋 but if you send these ready to be enjoyed delicacies, I don’t mind either 😉

    1. How about I just invite you to dinner?

      1. That sounds good too 😉😋

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