Fennel is a lot like celery, only better. It has the same crunchy texture as celery and works in the same kinds of dishes—mainly soups, stews and stuffings. But unlike celery, it doesn’t play second fiddle to onions and carrots—its assertive anise-like flavor stands on its own. In season fall through winter, fennel is great braised or raw in salads, and it brightens up our quick and easy White Bean Soup.
Served with cheesy croutes, White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard is pure comfort—add a salad of hearty winter greens and you have a cozy yet indulgent meal. Shaved Fennel and Golden Beet Salad makes a terrific lunch of light dinner.