It’s cold outside, I’m feeling sick, and a bowl of mum’s chicken soup is nowhere in sight.
I remember that sitting somewhere near the top of “the pile” (a stack of pages torn from various publications, yet to be filed in my recipe folder) is a recipe that might just soothe this sorry situation.
Karen Martini’s Fennel & Brown Rice Brodo, from Sunday Life magazine a few weeks ago.
Karen Martini is one of my favourite chefs – her recipes always inspire me to broaden my palette and experiment with new flavours.
This soup is hearty and healthy with lots of garlic and lemon that will be perfect for my cold. I also want to include some kale that I got at the markets this morning – I love a bit of greenery and it’s full of vitamins and antioxidants.
Fennel and brown rice brodo
Serves: 8 – 10; Prep time: 10 minutes; Cooking time: 1 hour & 25 minutes
120ml extra virgin olive oil
1 large brown onion, finely diced
6 gloves garlic, finely sliced
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
1 celeriac, trimmed and cut into 5mm dice
3 fennel bulbs, finely diced/sliced (reserve some of the feathery tops)
2½ tsp fennel seeds, ground
250g brown or white rice
1.5 L chicken stock
1.5 L water
½ bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 eggs, soft boiled of 6mins, peeled and roughly chopped
1 lemon to serve
*1 bunch kale or English spinach (optional)
-In a heavy-based pot over medium heat, place oil, onion, garlic and bay leaves. Season with a little salt and pepper and sweat for 10 minutes until golden.
-Add diced celeriac, fennel and ground fennel seeds. Stir to combine and cook for another 20 minutes until caramelised – this is important for developing a deep rich flavor in the soup.
-Add rice, stock and water and simmer for 45 minutes until rice is cooked and soup has thickened.
-Stir through parsley and most of the reserved fennel tops, check seasoning and let sit for 10 minutes
-Ladle into bowls and serve topped with chopped boiled egg, remaining fennel tops and a squeeze of lemon
-Accompany with a thick slice of toasted crusty bread, rubbed with garlic