Licorice-y from both the sausage and the fennel, this combination is wonderfully soothing.
Author: Sally Sampson
Serves: 12 to 14 cups
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound sweet or Italian spicy sausage, removed from casings and crumbled (optional)
- 1 Spanish onion, chopped, or 1 bunch leeks, washed and cut in small dice
- 1 large fennel bulb, cored and diced, including the fern-like tops
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large or 2 small carrots, cut in small dice
- 1 teaspoon dried fennel seeds
- 6 to 8 cups low-salt chicken stock
- 2 cups fresh or canned diced tomatoes
- 2 cups cooked white canellini beans
- 2 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 lemons, cut into eighths
- Place a stockpot over medium heat and, when it is hot, add the oil. Add the sausage, if desired, and cook for 3 minutes, all the while breaking up the sausage with the back of a spoon. Add the onion or leeks, fennel, garlic, carrots, and fennel seeds, and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes, and beans and bring to a low boil. Lower the heat to low, partially cover, and cook for 1 hour. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate at least overnight and up to two days.
- Place in a pot and gently reheat. Stir in the basil, and garnish with lemon wedges.