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Soupe de Poisson
Makes 16 servings
*2 tbls. extra virgin olive oil
*1 bunch leeks (3) split, carefully washed and chopped
*3 carrots, peeled and chopped
*2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
*1 head garlic, split
*Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
*14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
*3 sprigs parsley
*1/2 bunch basil
*1 fennel bulb, split and chopped
*1 tbls. fennel seed
*3 bay leaves
*1 shot Pernod
*2 cups white wine
*2 quarts canned clam juice or fish stock
*1 tbls. saffron
*Pinch of cayenne pepper
*1 lb. fish scraps (cod napes)
1Heat olive oil in large stock pot. Add mirepoix (leeks, carrots, celery) and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Sweat vegetables 3-5 minutes until tender.
2Add tomatoes, parsley, basil, fennel bulb, fennel seed and bay leaves. Allow some of liquid to cook down. Add Pernod and white wine and cook to reduce slightly. Add clam juice or fish stock, saffron and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Add fish scraps and cook until heated through.
3Using a food processor or blender, puree the soup in small batches. Pass through a fine sieve or chinois. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and cayenne. If necessary, adjust consistency with additional clam juice or fish stock.
4Serve with toasted croutons cut from a baguette and seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Seth Woods, Executive Chef/Owner of Aquitaine - Bar á Vin Bistrot, Boston, MA.