Roast Fennel, New Potato and Tomato Stew

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Roast Fennel, New Potato and Tomato Stew in white casserole dish on rustic wooden table
Serves 4
Print recipe
  • Prep time 20 mins
  • Cook time 65 mins
  • Ready time 85 mins

Laced with spicy-hot harissa paste and a sprinkling of salty preserve lemon, this rich vegetable stew has a tempting Moroccan feel to it.

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  • 3 medium-large fennel bulbs (about 1 kg in total)
  • 600-700 g new or waxy potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 2-3 cm chunks
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 300 g cherry tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1-2 sprigs of rosemary (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
  • 700 ml tomato passata
  • 1 rounded tablespoon harissa paste
  • 400 g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 75 g pitted olives (about 100 g stone-in)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon, to finish


Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5.

Trim the fennel bulbs of their bases, tops and tough outer layer, reserving any green feathery fronds attached to the stalks. Quarter the bulbs then cut each quarter into 2 or 3 wedges. Put these into a large roasting dish.

Add the potatoes, onions, cherry tomatoes and garlic. Throw in the rosemary if you have it, trickle over the oil, season with salt and pepper and stir everything together. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, giving the veg a good stir after about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a jug, combine the passata with 150 ml water and stir in the harissa.

When the veg are tender and starting to brown, take the dish out of the oven and add the passata mixture. Stir it in well with a spatula, using the passata to deglaze the roasting dish, scraping up any nice bits of caramelised veg from the base and sides.

Add the chickpeas and olives then return the dish to the oven for 20 minutes or so, until the passata is bubbling and slightly reduced.

When the bubbling dish of veg comes out of the oven, taste it, then sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Scatter over the preserved lemon, tear over any saved fennel fronds and then bring the dish to the table. Serve with more harissa if you like things spicy.

Veg: Use roughly chopped red, orange or yellow pepper (or all three!) as an alternative to fennel.
PulsesInstead of chickpeas, add white beans such as cannellini or butter beans.


Additional notes

“Laced with spicy-hot harissa paste and a sprinkling of salty preserve lemon, this rich vegetable stew has a tempting Moroccan feel to it. Eat it with a simple green salad, or add a bowlful of colourful, crunchy, Moroccan carrot blitz.”

Recipe taken from River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury, £26), out now

Photography © Simon Wheeler

River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall front cover