Recipe for Health: Zuppa di Carote & Finocchio

by Sandy Todd Webster on Dec 11, 2014

Food for Thought

(Carrot and Fennel Soup)

Italian cooking is simplicity defined. This soup makes the most of easily accessible winter vegetables and blends them into a delicious, hearty lunch or dinner that will warm and cheer you and your family on a cold winter night.

Chef Gina Stipo is an Italian-American whose enthusiasm for the cuisine and wines of Tuscany inspired her to make Siena the base from which to pursue her culinary passions. Her cooking classes in Tuscany are taught in English and are accompanied by the history and anecdotes of the Siena area.

“Italians revel in the joy and community that good food fosters,” says Gina. “I love master and delicious to eat. The pairing of our daily menus with local wines makes for an unforgettable dining living and working in Tuscany because the people and culture are so closely connected to the foods they eat and the wines they drink. We use the freshest of ingredients to prepare classic Tuscan dishes that are easy to experience!”

Stipo demystifies cooking for her students. “Armed with a little knowledge and great fresh ingredients, anyone can excel in the kitchen!” she says. Learn more about her culinary tours and cooking classes at

1 lb carrots, cleaned and chopped
1 lb fresh fennel, chopped
1 onion, chopped
olive oil
3 C chicken or vegetable broth or water sea salt
white pepper

Sauté onion in olive oil until soft. Add carrots and fennel. Cook over medium heat, covered, until the veggies are very soft (at least 30 minutes), adding a small amount of water or broth to prevent the vegetables from sticking or burning. Add salt while cooking. Remove from heat, add broth and purée with an immersion blender until smooth. Consistency should be of a thick soup. Add additional broth if you deem it to be too thick. Before serving, reheat and stir in a light grinding of white pepper. May be topped with chopped fennel fronds and croutons.

Source: Recipe reprinted with permission from Chef Gina Stipo, author, Ecco La Cucina,

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.