I came up with this recipe last winter, I think, when we got a CSA box with fennel and leeks, and I thought to myself: what on earth can I make with fennel? So I made up a fennel-leek-potato soup (since I love potato-leek soup). It’s light enough that it needs something else with it – bread (if you eat it), salad (like you see in the photo), or maybe it’s a starter for your main meal. Regardless, it’s a good winter soup.
Saute in olive oil:
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced, white and light green parts only
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 diced fennel bulb
Once they’re soft, add:
~6 yukon gold potatoes, diced (I had red potatoes on hand, so I used those instead this time – probably about a pound’s worth.)
2 minced garlic cloves
~0.25c minced parsley
3c chicken stock (I subbed in vegetable stock in this batch. Again, it was to hand.)
Bring to a boil, then simmer for ~45 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender, stir in 0.5c heavy cream, add salt & pepper to taste.
In truth, this weekend was all about celery. I had some in the fridge, and it was wilting. I made tuna salad and potato-leek-fennel soup (which also uses celery) and this lovely little stir fry from Cook’s Illustrated known as Chinese Chicken Wraps. The kid, of course, still eats around the vegetables, but she does eat it. It’s intended to be an appetizer (if you spoon the filling into each lettuce leaf, rather than pile it all on top like I did), but add some rice and it’s a robust meal.
1lb chicken thighs, cut into 1″ cubes
2t sesame oil
Place chicken on large plate, freeze until edges are getting hard. About 20 minutes. Mix all other ingredients in medium bowl. Pulse meat in food processor for 10-1 sec pulses. Transfer meat to medium bowl with sauce. Let rest for 15 minutes.
3T oyster sauce
2t sesame oil
0.25t red pepper flakes
Whisk all ingredients together. Set aside.
2T veg oil
2 celery ribs, diced
6oz shitake mushrooms, stemmed & sliced thin
0.5c water chestnuts, cut into 1/4″ pieces
2 scallions, white parts minced, green parts sliced thin
2 garlic cloves
8 leaves bibb lettuce
Heat 1T oil in 12″ non-stick skillet over high heat till smoking. Cook chicken. Move to separate bowl. Wipe out skillet. Heat remaining 1T oil (high heat, till smoking). Add celery & mushrooms; cook, stirring constantly, until mushrooms are about half the size, 3-4 minutes. Add water chestnuts, scallion whites, and garlic. Cook till fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk sauce to recombine. Add chicken to skillet, then add sauce. Stir to combine. Serve over lettuce leaves.