Fresh fennel from the fall garden imparts a surprising sweetness to the broth. Use this as a base for soups and risottos. On its own, this broth makes a wonderful tonic to sip any time of the day.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2 leeks, root ends and half of green tops trimmed, sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, thickly sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced, and leaves chopped
- 2 Principe Borghese or other medium vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
- 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3 sprigs fresh basil
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 12 black peppercorns
- Dried Parmesan cheese rind (about ¼ cup of pieces)
- Sea salt
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, add the garlic, and sauté over very low heat for several minutes. Add the carrots, leeks, fennel, and celery and sauté briefly. Add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, bay leaves, and peppercorns and sauté for a couple of minutes.
Add 7 cups water and the Parmesan rind. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partly covered, for about 1 hour, adding salt to taste toward the end of the cooking time. Strain. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Nutritional information is based on 12 servings, and includes 1 teaspoon of added salt.