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November 18, 2010

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Judith

I am really surprised at the similarity between the fennel and parsnips. I certainly can't tell them apart -although perhaps the fennel has the side roots? But then I have grown parsnips like that!
The soup looks good and it is a genius idea to thicken it with the fennel pulp. I like the aniseed flavour of fennel so I am sure this is a soup I would love.

Laura

Thanks! It turned out really tasty. I'll let you know if your guess is right after others have had a chance to try :)

Mary

I'm guessing from left to right--fennel, fennel,
parsnip, fennel, parsnip parsnip. :)

Mike

Wow, I am usually so good at things like this but you got me stumped on this one. Here is my guess from left to right - fennel, fennel, parsnip, parsnip, parsnip.:)

I have never tried eating fennel root, but do have a couple plants that are past their prime in the garden so perhaps I should before the ground freezes. My fennel bulbs never ever get very big, but we still enjoy growing the plant and using it in dishes for that nice licorice flavor.

Mike

Oh, and your soup sounds and looks absolutely delicious.:)

Laura

I had a feeling you might be a strong contender :) Got some pretty different guesses coming in here... I will reveal the answer on Tuesday!

Heiko

Sounhds lovely Laura, must try that some time. Only thing I usually leave fennel roots in the ground, as they re-grow every year as perennials. Oh and the roots: f-f-p-f-f-p ?

Sue

This is TOO difficult for words!!

My guess (and it is just that, because I have eaten parsnips that look like ALL of those) is
Parsnip, Fennel x 3, parsnip, parsnip.

Sue xx

Laura

Alright....drumroll please...and the winner is....Heiko! With a 100% correct identification of fennel, fennel, parsnip, fennel, fennel, parsnip.
Congratulations! And thanks to everyone who submitted a guess :)

Laura

And actually as Heiko mentioned, as a perennial normally the roots would be left in the ground, which perhaps explains why they aren't known for cooking with. But we realized we hadn't put them in a very good place, both for its own growth, and because we didn't know when we planted that fennel is pretty much the anti-companion plant, harmful to most other garden vegetables that might be growing near it (which might be why our cauliflower failed so miserably actually). So next year we are going to sequester it in the small patch next to the contained mint bed.

Max

Now you've got me thinking about it a lot of the carrot family has bulbous tendencies: carrots & parsnips (obviously) but also celery/celeriac, chervil/bulbous chervil, parsley/hamburg parsley... and now fennel/bulbous fennel!

You could now save seed from the most bulbous plants and keep selecting for a few generations create a whole bulbous fennel master race and take over the planet. Kind of.

Laura

Mwahahahaa...I like how you think! :)

Val

Love it. Happy new year to you, and a great 2011 to all!

Laura

Thanks, and happy new year to you too!

Emily

This post was very helpful! I just spent 20 minutes searching for ways to eat/cook fennel root and likewise, found a lot of misinformation out there. Your blog is the only answer I've found so far that fennel root can indeed be eaten. I'm glad that I an put my roots to use.

I am confused by your comment that fennel is a perennial and that the root should be left in the ground. If you cut off the bulb and stem, but leave the root in, will the plant regrow? Thanks for your help!

Laura

Hi Emily, I'm glad you found the post useful!
In warmer climes fennel can make it as a perennial, yeah (exactly as you said, harvest the bulb and leave the root), but I don't think it would last through a Montana winter unfortunately!

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