5 (14)

Soups, Vegetarian

Braised greens and potatoes with lemon and fennel

Braised greens and potatoes with lemon and fennel
Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

I will bow to no one in my affection for holiday cooking. For our Christmas open house every year, I make gallons of posole and black beans. One family holiday tradition is spending a day decorating hundreds of cookies. There ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 4
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus good, fruity olive oil for drizzling, divided
  • 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, quartered and cut in 1-inch lengths
  • 4 green onions, white and most of green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and coarsely chopped, fronds and tender stalks reserved
  • 4-6 fingerling potatoes, cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle or finely ground
  • 2 pounds mixed greens, spinach, sorrel, Swiss chard, outer leaves of romaine lettuce, pea shoots, nettle tops or any combination of sweet leafy greens, large leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 preserved lemon, flesh discarded, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill or wild fennel, divided
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons marash pepper or a good pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

Step 1In a wide, deep soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, green onions, fennel bulb, potatoes and fennel seeds, stir to coat with the oil and cook an additional 3 minutes.

Step 2Add the greens in batches, starting with the larger leaves and gradually adding the smaller, more tender ones. Stir a few times to help the leaves wilt and reduce in size, then add the wine and cook for 1 minute; add the water, the preserved lemon and salt to taste.

Step 3Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the greens and potatoes are tender and most of the juices have been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. If there is still too much liquid, raise the heat to high and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced, up to an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4Add the lemon juice, half the dill, the fennel fronds and stalks and sprinkle with the red pepper; toss, taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Cook an additional 2 minutes to marry the flavors, then sprinkle with remaining dill.

Step 5Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzled with the good, fruity olive oil.

Note: Adapted from Aglaia Kremezi's "Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts." Kremezi recommends serving this with ricotta or feta cheese and crusty bread.


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