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Using Leeks Instead of Fennel in Cioppino

LaureltQ Dec 23, 2013 03:26 PM

I am making cioppino for Xmas dinner. This is a new recipe, and it's highly rated. It calls for fennel, which I dislike to a great degree. I saw some other recipes that call for leeks, so I got leeks. I have chopped them finely, and intended to caramelize them a bit with the onions in the recipe before adding tomatoes and stock and whatnot. Is there anything else that I should be thinking about? I don't have much experience with them, and would prefer to avoid destroying a $60 pot of soup.

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  1. c oliver RE: LaureltQ Dec 23, 2013 03:41 PM


    Here's a recipe I'm going to make. Calls for leek AND fennel. I don't see any reason you couldn't leave out the fennel at all.

    1. girloftheworld RE: LaureltQ Dec 23, 2013 03:55 PM

      I am not a fennel fan... but leeks are not a substiute flavor wise... perhaps cut the fennel portion? maybe cabbage? is it the flavour you dont like

      3 Replies
      1. re: girloftheworld
        LaureltQ RE: girloftheworld Dec 23, 2013 04:00 PM

        It's the flavor. I know that they aren't a substitute, but I can't bring myself to use fennel in it.

        1. re: LaureltQ
          girloftheworld RE: LaureltQ Dec 23, 2013 06:00 PM

          throw some cummin and carawayseed in it for a bit of flavor and call it done

          1. re: girloftheworld
            phofiend RE: girloftheworld Dec 23, 2013 08:02 PM

            If LaurelQ does not like fennel, cumin and caraway are probably too similar in flavor to be a good substitute. I find all of them to taste distinctly of licorice. Napa cabbage would be a good textural sub.

      2. njmarshall55 RE: LaureltQ Dec 23, 2013 07:28 PM

        Other than losing the hint of anise, I don't see any problem with that substitution. Have at it! Let us know how it turns out.

        1. greygarious RE: LaureltQ Dec 23, 2013 08:15 PM

          I LOATHE fennel and the whole anise/licorice clan. I use celery in my cioppino. And any form of onion available, be it leek, scallion, or bulb onions. The green is nice for visual appeal, but not essential.

          1. Cheese Boy RE: LaureltQ Dec 23, 2013 11:02 PM

            I don't know how well stocked your bar is, but the French use Pernod in their Bouillabaisse all the time.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cheese Boy
              greygarious RE: Cheese Boy Dec 24, 2013 10:06 AM

              But the OP does not want the anise/licorice flavor.

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