Rachel's Tomato, Pork and Fennel Soup is a delicious and comforting soup that's full of flavour. Perfect for a cold winter's day!
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove the casings of the sausages and break into little meatballs approximately 2cm (3/4in) size. Fry, turning regularly, until all sides are browned. The middle doesn't need to be cooked through at this stage. Remove and set aside. You may need to do this in 2 or 3 batches depending on the size of your pan.
Add the onion, celery, carrot, fennel (if using), fennel seeds and chilli to the pan with a pinch of salt and crack of black pepper and sauté until vegetables are soft.
I only add fennel when it is reasonably priced which is often not the case in the middle of winter when you feel like this soup. There is enough fennel flavour from the seeds and sausages that the fresh fennel bulb is purely an optional addition.