Fennel is in season down here in South Oz --probably most other parts of Oz too. You can get a full sized fennel bulb for $1.99 at the shops now.
Needless to say, I've been doing a lot with fennel bulbs lately.
But what about those stalks that you trim off?
SOUP STOCK! But this won't be a regular soup stock cus the fennel stalks impart a very mild licorice flavour to the stock so you need to season the stock appropriately.
Here's what I did for a very wonderfully flavoured soup stock.
What you need:
stalks from one fennel bulb --rough chopped
1 small onion --chopped
1 tbsp dried basil
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
2 cloves of crushed garlic
6 to 8 dried curry leaves
2 dried bay leaves
1/2 inch grated ginger root
1 gallon water (H2O)
sea salt to taste --you'll only want a tiny bit
What you do:
Chuck everything except the sea salt into a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover and low boil/high simmer for an hour. You don't want to lose more than an inch of water in the pot, so keep it covered and adjust the heat accordingly.
Let it cool a bit and then strain out all the chunky stuff. Give it a taste and salt to your taste. Only use a bit of salt at a time cus you do not want too much salt in this stock or you'll ruin it.
Let it cool completely and refrigerate till use. Or use it that day. I wouldn't keep it longer than a few days before using it though. I used mine the next day to make a fennel, prawn, and prosciutto risotto. Obviously, the stock was the liquid that the rice and other stuff was cooked in. Look for that recipe next as it was delish.
You can also separate the stock into smaller containers and freeze them till you need some, no worries.