Slow-Cooker Pork, White Bean and Fennel Soup

I love a lazy Sunday however most of them are packed with to-dos and running around. It’s nice to be able to spend 10 or 15 minutes prepping something with the sure knowledge that you’ll have a taste meal at the end of the day.

Slow Cooker Pork, White Bean and Fennel Soup
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 7 hours


  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced into 1″ pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. country-style pork ribs, excess fat removed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can canned small white beans, undrained
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar


  1. Combine broth, fennel, onion, garlic, pork and bay leaves in the slow cooker. Cover and cook, on low, for 6 hours.
  2. Bump the slow cooker up to high. Add the spinach, tomatoes and beans to the cooker. Recover and cook for an hour.
  3. Remove the pork (and bones) from the pot. Chop or shred into smaller pieces and return to the cooker. Add the vinegar, stir to incorporate. Taste and adjust salt/pepper as desired.

This soup is based on one from Campbell’s. I added a few things to bump up the flavor and reworked the instructions a bit as well.

My frozen spinach didn’t thaw much after 6 hours in the fridge. I took a chance and added the mostly solid spinach brick to the slow cooker. It heated up fine and the soup seemed no worse for wear.

Fennel and Orange Salad

I first came across this recipe in the mid-2000s while thumbing through a cooking magazine at a now defunct bookseller. It sounded like a great alternative to a big green salad, especially in the winter when good greens are shipped from the other side of the globe. It’s often makes an appearance at our annual holiday party.

Fennel and Orange Salad

Fennel and Orange Salad

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Saturday night – 07/03/10

The menu this week took some time to come together. I didn’t finally figure out what I was going to make until Saturday morning. Normally I have the menu worked out several days in advance and hit the grocery store Friday after work.

Part of the difficulty has been trying to incorporate produce from our CSA box. We don’t pick that up until Thursday afternoon and it’s always interesting to see what the box holds. This week we received lovely carrots, fava beans, beets, radishes, lettuce, radishes, bok choy and basil. We also had some fennel & rainbow carrots left over from last week.

The farmer sends out a newsletter on Thursday with a description of everything. This week he included a recipe for an orzo salad which used fennel & fava beans. I’ve included the recipe under the cut below.

The Menu
Grilled chicken thighes
Oleana-style orzo salad
Grill roasted beets
Roasted rainbow carrots
Ted Bread

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert

Notes and recipe under here