Zuppa di Finocchi

Fennel Soup

This is the perfect soup to eat after several heavy meals as the fennel has marvellous digestive properties. So if you have got to the point where you really canโ€™t face anything rich, but want to eat something which is soothing and original, try this easy soup.


  • 5 large, crunchy fennel bulbs
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • a handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz.) olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices stale white bread


Remove the outer parts of the fennel bulbs and slice the tender white interior into fine, neat strips. Put into a pan with the garlic, parsley, oil and a pinch of salt. Fry gently for about 6 minutes, stirring and turning.

Cover with 1.2 litres (2 pints) cold water or chicken stock if you want a soup with a less gentle flavour. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer slowly until the fennel is falling to pieces. Taste and season very generously. Meanwhile, toast the bread in the oven.

Place the toast in the bottom of the soup tureen. Pour the soup over it and serve at once.