Soupe de Poisson: French Style Fish Soup

Soupe de Poisson

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A family favorite that is full of flavor and color. Tips: if your fish smells slightly strong, soak it in milk for 20 minutes; pat dry. Costco has good fresh or frozen cod. Trader Joe's has inexpensive saffron.


Credit:  James Beard Cookbook.  1970 revision of 1959 edition.

Ingredients

  • 4 T. Olive Oil plus 2 T. Butter3 cloves
  • Garlic, minced
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Leeks, sliced thin
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 can (14 oz.) petite chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 pound boneless white Fish (cod is best), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Enough water and/or chicken bouillon to cover, about 1-1/2 cups
  • 3 T. finely chopped Parsley
  • ½ tsp. Thyme
  • ½ tsp. Basil
  • 1 whole Bay Leaf
  • ¼ tsp. Saffron
  • 1/3 C. White Wine
  • ½ C. cut vermicelli tender
  • ½ lb. cooked shrimp meat
  • 1 C. frozen peas

Directions

Melt the butter and oil in a large, heated soup pot or Dutch oven.  Add the garlic, onion, leeks, and carrots; cook until slightly soft, about 6 minutes.  Stir frequently.  Add the tomatoes and fish; cook 5 minutes.

Add enough water and/or chicken stock to cover.  Add the parsley, thyme, basil, bay leaf, saffron, and white wine.  Stir.  Bring to boil over medium heat, cover the pan, and turn the heat to low.

At the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the vermicelli and cook without the lid.  At the last 5 minutes of cooking,  add the shrimp and peas.  If soup is too thick, add water 1/4 cup at a time, being careful not to water down the soup.

To serve, place in individual bowls one thinly-sliced French bread piece that has been lightly browned in butter.  Ladle the soup over the bread. Serve.

Salad Nicoise For Two

I was inspired by watching Martha Stewart for this recipe.   I am using her dressing recipe and for the rest of the ingredients I used Food Network’s recipe, links below.   I am still working to make a dressing that I enjoy, perhaps a homemade Italian.  I am not big on dressings with Dijon mustard because it’s too strong.  If you have a suggestion put it in comments.  Tip:  although the steps are easy, there are many to follow.  Prepare the ingredients ahead of time.

Salad Nicoise

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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A nutritious and unique blend of colorful ingredients that are sure to delight. I found jarred Yellow Fin Tuna at Whole Foods.

Credit:   Food Network and Martha Stewart (video).

Ingredients

Martha Stewart’s dressing:

  • 1/2 large Shallot or two Scallions, minced
  • 2 tsp. capers
  • 1 T  Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Anchovy Paste
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/3 C. olive oil

Whisk together shallot, capers, Dijon, anchovy paste,  lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil; set dressing aside.

Food Network’s salad, sans the dressing:

Ingredients 

  • ½ lb. thin-skinned potatoes, sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • Salt
  • 5 ounces haricots verts [Whole Foods frozen] or thin green beans, trimmed
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 cherry tomatoes or small cocktail tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 head Red French or Butter lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1 5-1/2-ounce jar Toninno yellow fin tuna packed in olive oil, drained [Whole Foods]
  • 1/4 cup niçoise olives or kalamata, pitted
  • 2 hard cooked eggs

Directions

Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with cold water and season with salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl; drizzle with 1 T. dressing and let cool. Reserve the saucepan.

Meanwhile, bring a separate saucepan of salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with salted ice water. Add the haricots verts to the boiling water; cook until crisp-tender and bright green, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into the ice water to cool; drain and pat dry.

Toss the tomatoes in a small bowl with 1 T. dressing, salt, and pepper to taste.  Gently toss the cooled potatoes.  Quarter the hard-cooked eggs.

Tear off whole lettuce leaves and divide between 2 plates, about 3 leaves each. Arrange the potatoes, haricots verts, artichoke hearts, and tuna on top. Add the tomatoes and eggs to the plates. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the olives.  Serve with a baguette.