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Chicken Fennel Soup v. 2.0

The last Friday of October, cold, gray and rainy with a wind like a knife, it was my day off.  So what’s a boy to do?  Soup!  I wanted to have something to warm the insides for a late lunch/early dinner which was timed for the lady who had to work all day.  I knew she would be hungry.  So I pulled out one of my classics with some tweaks, as I am known to do.

My chicken Fennels soup is based off of a soup I first had at a favorite little lunch spot in downtown Minneapolis called Zelino.  I have done a lot of different variations with this one.  I fell this is the closest version to the original and was demolished this weekend in no time flat.

  • 4 bone in skin on chicken
  • Glug or two of olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic diced
  • 2 or more celery diced
  • 3 or more carrots diced
  • 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs diced
  • As much as the green fennel frons as you can get
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (freshly ground if you can)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 12 oz can of whole skinless tomatoes drained and chopped
  • 1 1/2 35 oz boxes of your favorite chicken stock (homemade if you have it works even better)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Several stalks of fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Get a Dutch oven heating over medium with a little olive oil, salt and pepper the chicken on both sides and put in Dutch oven skin side down.  Fry until skin is golden brown (4-6 mins), flip and cook for another 4-6 mins.  Pull out of pan and set aside and let cool.

chicken frying for soup        chop and drop fennel bulb

Meanwhile start chopping and dropping the veggies, starting with onions and garlic, cook until the onions are softened, stir often.  Then drop in celery, carrots and fennel bulbs, cook until slightly softened (5 minutes or so). Add cumin and pepper flakes, let cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add stock, tomatoes bay leaves and thyme.

Meanwhile remove skin and bones from chicken thighs and chop or “pull” meat into desired sizes.  I like bigger pieces.  Drop chicken into the pool, discarding bones and skin.

Add salt and pepper to taste (go light on salt since this will cook down a bit)

soup ready to simmer

Cook covered for an hour or so over low heat, stir occasionally. Last 10 minutes drop frons in and adjust s/p.

Serve with nice crusty bread with good butter for dunking.  Don’t forget a good pale ale is a perfect side!

This soup is even better the next day so make sure you have some leftovers, if you can!

chicken fennel soup

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