Green Beans and Fennel Ragout

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 3 large potatoes cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 2 cups fennel in 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot, sauté the garlic and onions in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.  Add the potatoes and tomatoes, thyme and water.  Cover and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Stem the beans and cut to 1 inch pieces.  Add the beans and sliced fennel to the pot along with saffron, orange peel and lemon juice.  Simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and beans are tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe can be served with hearty peasant style bread and soft cheese like chevre or brie.  The flavors also meld nicely over time and so this dish is great as a leftover.