White Bean and Fennel Soup

Pair this with a loaf of bread and a salad and you have a perfect winter meal.

It can also be enriched with a garnish of blue cheese and crispy bacon.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 fennel bulb, cored and diced, including the fern like tops
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried fennel seed
4 cups cooked cannelini beans, rinsed
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Shaved Parmesan cheese

Place a large stockpot over medium heat and when it is hot, add the oil. Add the onion, celery, carrots, fennel, garlic and dried fennel seed and cook until all are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the beans and broth and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and cook for at least one hour. Just prior to serving, stir in the lemon juice. Serve garnished with the fennel tops and Parmesan cheese.
Serves 6