It is soup season! Don't shy away from making your own stock - it is one of those things that make your cooking ethereal.
4 cloves garlic, smashed
4 cups rice vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup kosher salt
1 ½ tbsp chili flakes
2 bulbs of fennel, thinly sliced
In a saucepan, combine garlic, vinegar, sugar, salt and chili flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in fennel, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 12 hours.