Qui l’eût cru? Pot-au-feu végétarien du Sud

 I remember reading about this recipe in a French magazine such as Femme Actuelle or Elle à Table, but it’s been a while ago and I don’t remember so I have been making it from memory, which is certainly not exactly the same as the original. It’s nonetheless delicious. Anything vegetarian is very appealing to me and especially a meat dish like pot-au-feu. Pot-au-feu which is as emblematic as the Eiffel Tower. It’s a traditionally beef dish cooked for a long period of time in a broth with vegetables and herbs. Usually the broth is served separately (sometimes cooked with pasta) and the meat is served on the side too, with moutarde de Dijon or other condiments. It’s a very popular dish in France and always enjoyed with family and friends since there always too much meat left.

Now pot-au-feu is not my favorite dish, and I love to find some vegetarian alternative to some heavy traditional dishes.

If you look at the ingredients of this pot-au-feu, it has definitely a Southern French flair, with Pastis and fennel, how can it not?

This vegetarian pot-au-feu can be eaten as is and it does not need anything on the side, other than a simple green salad. The broth is infused with saffron, pastis and herbs therefore very fragrant and make this dish very colorful and vibrant.

I cooked it in my clay pot at low heat and turned out delicious.

Ingredients for 2-3

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 sprig thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut in 6-7 quarters
  • 2 medium size artichokes, trimmed and cut in quarters
  • 3 medium size yukon potatoes, cut in quarters
  • 1/2 meyer lemon, seeds removed and cut lengthwise, then in two
  • 1/3 cup Pastis
  • 1 cup broth
  • salt and pepper


In a large pot, heat olive oil, then add garlic, thyme, bay leaves, saffron. Stir for a few minutes until fragrant. Add vegetables, pastis and broth. Cover with lid and let cook for about 30 minutes at low heat until vegetables are tender.