Vegetable Soup with Fennel, Herbs and Parmesan Broth
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 4
The Good News Antioxidant-rich fennel is one of several good-for-you ingredients in this wonderful soup. Viana La Place simmers Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds in the broth to give it a rich, cheesy flavor. It's another example of the "nothing wasted" approach that Italians take to their cooking: "I also strain the soup and use the broth as a base for other dishes," La Place says.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 leeks, white parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 fennel bulb—halved, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 medium tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
- 6 cups water
- One 3-inch square Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, leeks and fennel and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the water and the cheese rind and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.
- Discard the cheese rind and bay leaves. Stir in the parsley and basil and season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve.