The change of seasons must be triggering my cravings. I don’t know what it is about summer-to-fall, but the transition puts me into cooking and Pinterest overdrive! Two nights ago, I stopped at the grocery store on a mission: TO MAKE FISH SOUP. I had to have fish soup! A warming yet light, garlicky, fresh and fragrant tomato-based fish soup. IMMEDIATELY. The drive was so intense that I completely neglected to pick up the other items on my grocery list!
The soupy cravings I had were a perfect compass to a healthy and sustaining meal. We tend to eat large portions, and this recipe fed Dave and me for three meals straight. Please, if you’re a fish lover, give it a shot! It’s a boulliabaise-y dream come true. Would be even more delectable with a crusty loaf of French bread, and shrimp could be left out for those avoiding shellfish. Bonus: I felt quite rustic and womanly while making it. Ha! Bon appétit!
PROVENCAL FISH SOUP
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse, bless his soul
- 1 1/2 lbs cod or halibut, chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
- 10 cloves garlic, smashed (trust me on this)
- 1/3 c white wine
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 bottle (16 oz) clam juice
- 6 c vegetable broth, or 6 c water and 5 tsp vegetable base
- pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 orange, juiced and rind reserved
- 2 fennel bulbs, cut in half width-wise and chopped
- 2 yellow potatoes, diced
- 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
- salt & cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic, cooking until tender.
Add the white wine, tomato paste, crushed red pepper, orange juice, clam juice, and vegetable broth. Cut a few inch-long strips off of the orange peel, and toss into the pot. Bring this stock to a boil and reduce by one-third. This took me about 10 minutes; feel free to taste-test to gauge your reduction time or cook at a lower heat if you’re blessed with this elusive “patience” I keep hearing about. Sounds interesting. I haven’t had time to check it out.
While the stock is reducing, finish chopping your tomato, fennel, and potatoes. Add these veggies when the stock has reduced, and cook at a simmer, uncovered, for 15 additional minutes. Salt and pepper your fish and cut into chunks. When the potatoes and fennel have cooked for 15 minutes, add the fish chunks, shrimp, and parsley. Cook for 5 minutes at medium heat, stirring to make sure the fish is well-immersed in the hot broth. Do a taste test and add salt and pepper, if you like (I added lotsa black pepper). Ladle into bowls and enjoy! And enjoy again!