Total time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Light vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups finely diced leeks, white part only (about 2 to 3)
1 cup finely diced carrots (about 3 medium)
1 cup finely diced celery (about 2 stalks)
3 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs fennel
1 sprig thyme
1. Heat the oil in a tall 8-quart stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley, fennel and thyme. Add 10 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat, cover and cook at a hard simmer 35 minutes.
3. Remove the pot from the heat. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer, gently pressing the vegetables to extract liquid. Discard the vegetables. You should have 9 cups of stock.
2 fennel bulbs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 large onions (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Recipe: Fennel and onion soup
Fennel soup (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)