A Provencal stew filled with the hearty flavors of carrots, fennel, leeks, chickpeas, and thyme.
It took me 20 years to start to like tomato sauce, so the fact that I can see myself someday tolerating fennel…kind of a big deal.
I don’t exactly get unstuck in my ways very easily is my point.
Besides which my disdain for anise/fennel/anything in the licorice-flavored-family is in my genes. My father couldn’t stand it nor his father before him. So I long ago accepted that it just might not be in the cards for me.
And then there was this stew.
This stew which somehow came along and managed to subdue the formerly offensive vegetable into a subtle backdrop against which tender leeks, sweet carrots, and nutty chickpeas were allowed to shine.
I’m kind of hoping it’s a gateway “drug” to bigger and better fennel-infused meals. But for now, baby steps. And bowls of stew.
I just want to thank you all for your super, kind, supportive comments yesterday! They mean so much to me.
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- ¾ lb carrots, thinly sliced
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled until tender
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 5 oz baby spinach
- For the quinoa, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 garlic clove to pan and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, water, quinoa, and thyme. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
- For the stew, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leek and garlic to the pan. Sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, fennel bulb, and carrots to the pan. Sauté for 10 minutes or until vegetables are golden. Add the wine and cook until evaporated. Stir in the broth, half of the thyme, and the chickpeas. Cook until heated through. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice, spinach, and salt and black pepper to taste.
- Divide the quinoa among four bowls and top with the stew. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.