Fennel Stew with Potatoes and Saffron

Saffron fennel potato stew in a bowl

Yes, saffron is a little expensive but every so often, it’s totally worth the splurge! Especially as the darker half of the year is here and we need a little something to brighten things up. When you hear saffron + stew, many immediately think of bouillabaisse or similar seafood dishes, and growing up, that was basically the epitome of a luxury meal in my (Sophia’s) family – or at least one that my dad would spend half a Saturday cooking! Now I’m not sure if it’s the saffron or what, but this stew definitely has that same “little extra” feeling. It qualifies as both a dinner party and weekend dish without question – but with one giant upside as opposed to other recipes in that category: it comes together quickly.

Yep, that’s right. Some simple chopping, sautéing and simmering is all it takes before this is ready to be served – and you’ll even have time to do the dishes as it cooks away on the stove. A nice bread would be lovely on the side but isn’t necessary, as it’s filling enough with the beans and potatoes. (Although who are we kidding? Bread is always a good idea – and homemade garlic bread in particular, in this case.) And as with most stews, it’s almost even better the next day so don’t be afraid to end up with leftovers. Oh, and one more thing: the feta cheese on top shouldn’t be left out (we leave the vegan or not choice up to each and everyone, though). It makes the whole dish next level! Hope you’ll like it!

För recept på svenska, klicka här: Fänkålsgryta med saffran, potatis och purjolök

Serves 6
Total tillagningstid: 35 min

Ingredients

1 leek (~500 g / 1 lb)
0.5 g saffron (10-15 saffron threads)
2 tbsp canola oil
1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 l water
2 tbsp bouillon (equal to 2 cubes)
2 heads of fennel (~800 g / 1 lb 12 oz)
460 g (1 lb) cooked great white beans (~6 dl / 2 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
150 g (5 oz) feta cheese of your choice
Salt
Black pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse the leek carefully and cut into 1-2 cm thick slices (both white and green parts).
  2. Grind saffron with a pinch of salt using a mortar and pestle.
  3. Heat up 2 tbsp canola oil in a large pot. Add in saffron and stir, and then add in the leeks. Sauté for about 5 min.
  4. Add in potatoes and sauté for another few minutes.
  5. Add in water and bouillon and bring to a boil. Let simmer, covered, for 7-8 min.
  6. Cut the fennel into approx. 2 cm thick wedges (reserve the fronds). Add the fennel to the pot and let simmer for another 8-10 min, or until the potatoes are done. Turn off the heat but keep the pot where it is. Stir in the beans, put the cover on and let sit for about 2-3 min.
  7. Add white wine vinegar and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  8. Serve in bowls and top with feta cheese and reserved fennel fronds.

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