soup city

fennel, chilli & pork sausage soup

You’ve got to love soup as a winter mid week meal. It can be inexpensive, quick, warming, and comforting. It usually freezes well and is one of the few things that I’m happy to reheat in the microwave.  Plus, it’s a great way to keep your veg intake up when the weather is too cool for salads.

Pork and fennel are a classic combination with the aniseedy sharpness of the fennel providing a great counterpoint to the sweetness of the pork. The inspiration for this dish came from the dean & delucca cookbook recipe for fennel minestrone. That and the fact that I happened to have a couple of gorgeous AC Butchery pork and fennel sausages and a bulb of fennel that needed eating up. Sometime fate makes the best guide when it comes to cooking…..all good things….

fennel, chilli & pork sausage soup
serves 2

I decided to leave this soup rustic and chunky but if you prefer your soups smoother and more elegant feel free to give it a whizz with a stick blender once the fennel is cooked and before you add back the sausage.

2 pork & fennel sausages (I used AC butchery ones but any good italian pork sausage would work)
1 lge brown onion, chopped
2T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 anchovies, chopped
1 large bulb fennel, chopped with fronds reserved
2t fennel seeds
1t hot chilli powder, optional
2 small red hot chillis, finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil to serve
3 cups chicken stock

Heat 1T olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan.  Remove sausage casing and crumble sausage into the saucepan. Cook sausage stirring occasionally until golden brown. Remove sausage from pan and set aside.

Add the remaining 1T oil to the pan and heat on medium heat. Add onion and cook covered over low heat stirring periodically until onion is soft.  Add garlic, anchovy, chilli and chilli powder, fennel seeds, and fennel and cook stirring for 2 mins.  Add chicken stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20mins or until fennel is soft. 

Add sausage to the soup and allow to heat. Taste and season with s&p. Stir through approx 2T chopped fennel fronds and serve in large soup bowls topped with extra torn fennel fronds and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

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