1 bunch celery, with leaves
2 large fennel bulbs (sometimes called anise), with fronds
1/4 lb sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped shallot
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
special equipment: a Y-shaped vegetable peeler
Reserve 1/2 cup celery leaves. Remove strings from celery ribs with peeler, then cut celery ribs into 3- by 1/4-inch sticks.
Reserve 1/2 cup fennel fronds. Trim fennel stalks flush with bulbs. Cut any brown spots from outer layers and quarter bulbs lengthwise. Cut out most of cores, leaving enough to hold layers together. Cut bulbs lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide slices.
Have ready 2 large bowls of ice and water. Cook celery ribs in a large pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to 1 bowl of ice water. Return water to a boil and cook fennel bulbs 2 minutes, then transfer to second bowl of ice water. When vegetables are cool, drain both in a colander.
Cook bacon in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until crisp, then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Add shallot to bacon fat and cook, stirring, until softened. Add celery and fennel and cook, stirring, until vegetables begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add broth and simmer, stirring frequently, until vegetables are barely tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Coarsely chop reserved celery leaves and fennel fronds. Remove pot from heat and stir in leaves, fronds, parsley, bacon, and salt and pepper to taste.
bacon recipe source: Gourmet, December 2000