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This rustic fish soup is best when made with a variety of fish. It is rich, simple and absolutly packed with flavour.
- 900g fish (Snapper, Whiting, Cod, Gurnad, etc)
- 130g peeled and roughly chopped onion (1)
- 80g roughly chopped leek (1)
- 150g diced carrot (2)
- 100g roughly chopped celery (2 sticks)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 × 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of tomato purée
- 2 star anise
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 1 sprig of parsley
- 2 litres fish stock
- 200ml Armagnac (or other brandy)
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 200ml double cream
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 4 teaspoons of lemon juice
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
- Prepare all of the ingredients and remove the skin and any bones from the fish before cutting it up into chunks.
- In a large pan, heat the oil over a medium heat, then add the onion, leek, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 10 minutes until they are soft.
- Add the tomato purée, give it a stir and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the armagnac, star anise and parsley, stir it, add the tinned tomatoes and cook it for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the fish stock and saffron and bring it up to the boil. Simmer it for 20 minutes, then put in the chunks of fish, season it with salt & pepper and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- Fish out the star anise (pardon the pun) and then ladle some of the contents of the pan into a liquidizer, until the liquidizer is ¼ full. Then blend it for about a minute.
- Pour the contents of the liquidizer into another clean pan through a sieve and then refill the liquidizer to ¼. Continue until all of the soup has been blended. (Filling a liquidizer with too much hot liquid can cause the liquid to explode out of the top in a spectacular fashion, regardless of the strength of your liquidizers lid. It is best to err on the side of caution and do several small batches, rather than cover yourself and your kitchen with boiling hot soup.)
- When all of the soup has been blended, it might appear to split but don’t worry, mix in the cream using the hand blender and it will come back together. Even if the soup hasn’t split, add the cream anyway.
- Add the salt and lemon juice, season with pepper, reheat the soup and serve. The cream effect in the picture was done by gently pouring a streak of cream onto the surface of the soup and then running a cocktail stick back and forth through the cream.
- Avoid using oily fish, such as mackeral, sardines or herring, because the flavours can be too intense, salmon or trout can be used because they have a milder flavour. Using oily fish will also lead to the soup splitting in point 6 above.