We did a little survey on instagram a few days ago where we asked what type of recipes you would like to see more of here on the blog. Lots of fun and creative suggestions popped up. The sum of it was pretty clear though. There seem to be a never-ending need for Quick Family Dinners, Budget Recipes, Healthy Breakfasts and more Vegan dishes. We will certainly take these topics in mind for future updates. If you have more suggestions, go ahead and leave a comment below. To kick things off we have looked at what we have done in the past years and have chosen 3 of our favourite recipes in each category. If you haven’t tried these recipes already, they might be a good starting point.
Quick Family Dinners
Savoury Snacks also seem to be a thing that we need to make more of so that will come up soon.
Today’s recipe is a vegetarian version of the french fish stew Bouillabaisse and ironically it doesn’t seem to be even close to the topics that you are asking to see more of. It is not super quick, more like an hour or so. Saffron and white wine are on the ingredient list, so not a budget recipe (although all other ingredients are quite cheap). And to be honest, the kids didn’t like it very much. Elsa picked out the carrots, parsnip and the white beans and left the rest untouched! It is vegan though, if you skip the aioli.
But if we look past the fact that this apparently is an entirely unwanted recipe from your side, we do have some good news: You are going to love it anyway! And so will the guests that you invite over for a vegetarian dinner this weekend. You see, this French stew is filled with flavour from white wine, fennel, garlic and saffron, sweetness from the slow cooked tomatoes, carrots and parsnips, and it gets a mild taste of the ocean from a sheet of nori algae (the ones you use for rolling sushi).
We like to keep the vegetables chunky to replace the fish and seafood. We also roast fennel slices for a fancier presentation. Our idea was that they would look like two prawns in the middle of the plate, but, ehm, I don’t know, they just look like roasted fennel to me. They do taste good, almost crusty on the outside and soft and buttery on the inside. We serve it with homemade aioli but you can also use store-bought, to save time (or simply mix mayonnaise with garlic).
This takes around one hour to make. A few tips and shortcuts: You can skip the roasted fennel on top if you are in a hurry and don’t care about fancy presentations. If you prepare it in the morning, it will taste even more flavourful when you serve it in the evening (or the day after). And if you are making it for kids, replace the wine with vegetable stock.
2 tbsp butter, coconut oil or olive oil
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp anise seeds
2 yellow onions, peeled, one finely chopped and the other coarsely
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 large carrots, sliced in thick coins
2 parsnips, sliced in thick coins
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
1 large potato, cut in quarters
250 ml / 1 cup white wine
2 x 400 g / 14 oz tins whole tomatoes (or crushed)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 sheet nori, crushed or finely chopped (optional)
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup large white beans
1 fennel bulb
fresh thyme and dill
zest from 1/2 orange
1 piece of sourdough bread
2 egg yolks*
1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar (+ more for seasoning)
125 ml / 1/2 cup cold-pressed olive oil (choose a quality oil, stored in glass bottles)
125 ml / 1/2 cup cold pressed rapeseed oil (choose a quality oil, stored in glass bottles)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
sea salt and pepper, to taste
Place a large sauce pan on medium heat. Melt butter or coconut oil and then add fennel seeds and anise seeds, onions and garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes, until the onions have softened. Add carrots, parsnips and the chopped fennel and after a couple of minutes, white wine, tomatoes, stock, nori and thyme. Give it a good stir and then leave to simmer for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, set the oven to 435°F/225°C. Slice the remaining fennel in thick pieces lengthwise, drizzle with oil and salt and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until soft and slightly burnt at the edges.
When the cooked vegetables are soft and the stew tastes flavorful, add beans and let simmer for a few more minutes.
Making Aioli: (check out this Jamie Oliver video to see how it works): Whisk egg yolks* and lemon juice (or vinegar) in metal bowl to blend well, either by hand or with an electric mixer on low-speed. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the oil, 1 teaspoonful at a time, until sauce is thickened. Whisking constantly, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Stir in finely chopped garlic and season the aioli with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Serve the soup in wide bowls, top with roasted fennel, a dollop of aioli and a piece of sourdough bread.
*Raw egg is not recommended for infants, elderly, pregnant women or people with weakened immune systems. Be sure to use pasteurized egg yolk instead.