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Dec 23, 2013 03:26 PM

Using Leeks Instead of Fennel in Cioppino

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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    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. 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

        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

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

          1. re: girloftheworld

            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. 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. 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. 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

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