Fish Soup

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This takes a while but you can make it the day before.  It also freezes well.   I modified this recipe a little.  I used clam juice instead of the fish stock…shallot instead of leek and canned tomato rather than fresh.  This would be a great base for any fish/seafood soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 large leek, green part coarsely chopped and white part cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 lb plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or canned diced tomatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons canned tomato purée (or juice from canned tomato)
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 qt white fish stock (or clam juice)
  • French bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lb skinned white fish fillets
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rouille (optional)
  • Chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley

 Preparation

    1. Wash green and white parts of leek separately in a bowl of cold water, then lift out with a slotted spoon and pat dry. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook leek greens, onion, celery, and carrots, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add saffron, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato purée and cook, stirring, 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by about half, about 30 minutes.
    2. Stir in stock or clam juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. Carefully pour through a fine sieve into a bowl, then discard solids.
    3. Cut bread into thick slices, brush with olive oil  and toast in 300°F oven.
    4. Heat butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until foam subsides, then cook white part of leek, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add fish, hot broth, and salt and bring to a simmer (fish will be cooked through). Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup rouille.
    5. Serve soup with toasted bread and garnish with fresh herbs.

I think this soup would be great without the rouille but it does add another layor.  I like it spread on fresh bread too.  Here’s what I used:

  • 1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Mash garlic to a paste with salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a large knife).  Purée bell peppers, garlic paste, jalapeño, and bread crumbs in a food processor. With motor running, slowly add oil, then lemon juice and pepper, blending until very smooth (it will look like an orange-pink mayonnaise).

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