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French fennel and lentil braise

  • 15 minutes
  • 2½ hours
  • 4-6
French fennel and lentil braise

Enjoy these lentils, slowly simmered in a sweet fennel and tomato broth, by themselves with crusty bread or with chunky fish fillets added towards the end of cooking.


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1½ cups tomato juice
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 500 grams salmon, hapuka, warehou or tuna fillets


  1. Heat the oven to 140ºC.
  2. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a heatproof casserole. Add the onion, sliced fennel and garlic and cook for 8-10 minutes until tender.
  3. Add the lentils, tomato juice and chicken stock and stir well to distribute all the ingredients evenly.
  4. Cover and cook for 2 hours. Cut the fish into 3cm chunks and add to the lentils. Cover and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Season and serve. If wishing to add a garnish, scatter over chopped fresh fennel, a few olives and a drizzle of oil. Accompany with fresh bread to mop up the juices.

Cooks Tips

- If using dry chicken stock powder, use only 1 teaspoon powder to each cup of water to avoid the stock being too salty.

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