New discovery: I don’t like fennel

Tonight I have realised that I don’t like fennel. Well, I do like it in some form, for example the Messmer tea, but I don’t think I will choose it as vegetable again.

It’s all part of the experience of having a vegetable box with random contents delivered to my house which can turn out well in the form of kiwi muffins or roasted savoy cabbage and can also turn out badly with fennel. Having researched recipes and realising I didn’t fancy the raw option as a salad that @swedishmike suggested on Twitter, I googled a bit more and debated between fennel steaks and potato and fennel soup before deciding on the latter.

I ended up freestyling [inspired by @swedishmike’s blog] a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Instead of the things he mentioned I used:

  • Sunflower oil
  • 1 knob unsalted butter
  • 1.5 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed, tough core removed and diced
  • Four large potatoes
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 100ml whole milk
  • Thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the rest I pretty much followed the recipe and first softened the onions, garlic and fennel before adding the stock and potatoes and the milk after the puréeing.

Initially I was quite impressed – the strong fennel flavour was all but gone and I was left with a very creamy soup that tasted like it had too much salt. The more I ate of it, however, the more I realised it was actually the fennel I could taste, not the salt. By the end of the bowl I regretted that I have another batch sitting here waiting to be frozen.

The moral of the story is that I think I would have been very disheartened had I received fennel in my first vegetable box from Abel & Cole, but having spent some time over the past week cooking from scratch I can live with the fact that I spent over an hour cooking something I really didn’t enjoy. I have now made sure I set fennel as a dislike with Abel & Cole and won’t be receiving any more of it in the future.

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