I can't believe I have never posted a favorite soup recipe. I have been making this for many years. This is how we were first introduced to fennel. It makes a lot of soup but trust me it will go quickly. If you think you are going to have leftovers, do NOT put all of the pasta in the soup. Store it separately or it will soak up all of the broth and get very soggy. You can also freeze this soup without the pasta.
Sausage, Fennel and White Bean Soup
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausage (pork or turkey), without casing
1/2 lb fennel bulbs, chopped
2 medium onions,chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ c. coarsely chopped fresh basil
6 cups homemade or canned stock,
One 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes and their juice
1 15.5 oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. cooked elbow macaroni
Salt and pepper
In large saucepan coated with cooking spray, heat oil. Crumble and cook over high heat until well browned. Drain the fat. Lower heat to moderate and add fennel, onion, garlic and parsley. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add the stock and tomatoes with the juice. Bring to boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. When ready to serve add beans and pasta and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
Adapted from The Best of Food and Wine 1994 p.52