The garden is bountiful these days: loads of red and black raspberries, bunches of greens, big bulbs of fennel, and sweet, crunchy sugar snap peas.
I love eating the sugar snap peas as-is (and so does Sir), but we have enough that I felt like experimenting, so I tried this sugar snap salad recipe. Fortunately, I had grabbed some mint from my MIL’s yard, so I was good to go (I didn’t have shallots, so I just substituted some onion). It was a snap to make and tasty, too!
Next up, marinated fennel. I started this on the same afternoon that I made the pea salad, planning to give the fennel a nice long marinade before using it for the next day’s dinner. It just so happened that the fennel marinade in the recipe I wanted to try was almost identical to the dressing for the pea salad, so I just made extra and tossed it on the fennel.
The next night, the marinated fennel paired with fresh mozzarella and grilled bread for a satisfying, summery sandwich (recipe here), shown above in a deconstructed, bread salad version that I tossed together for a picnic dinner later in the week.
We’re awash in fennel right now, so I created a lentil soup recipe to make use of the fennel, as well as some greens.
LENTIL FENNEL SOUP WITH WILD RICE
Recipe by Melissa
One large bulb of fennel
1-2 T. butter1-2 T. olive oil
Chopped garlic scapes or minced garlic
Oregano (dried or fresh)
1/4 t. tumeric
1/2 t. onion powder
1 t. salt
1 c. dry lentils
1/2 c. wild rice
3-4 c. loosely packed fresh spinach, washed and chopped
Cover wild rice with 2 c. water. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer for 60 minutes.
Cook lentils in 4-5 cups water. The extra cooking water will become part of the broth for the soup. Once at a boil, simmer for about 15 minutes until tender, but not mushy.
Meanwhile, quarter fennel (discarding tough core, if present), then chop into bite size pieces. Sauté fennel in butter and olive oil, with a bit of salt, about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic or scapes and sauté an additional minutes, then turn off heat.
Puree about 1/3 of the cooked lentils and 1/3 of the cooked fennel with some of the extra lentil “broth.” Combine puree and all remaining ingredients in a large pan. Check salt and seasoning level, and adjust as desired. Simmer 2-3 minutes to wilt spinach.
This was good the first night, but, as is the way of soups and stews, it tasted even better for lunch two days later, after the flavors had time to meld.