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.