Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sopa de Pescado

The gorgeous speckled trout purchased from Frank (Let It Grow Organic Gardens) at the Saturday tailgate market, insisted on being part of a lovely Fall soup. I'm glad I listened. This was one of the best dishes I've recently sat down to enjoy. While acclimating to the brisk weather, nothing, absolutely nothing, beats a good bowl of hot, brothy, salubrious soup.

Sopa de Pescado:
*4 strips thick cut grass fed bacon, cubed
*1 large leek, (rinsed well, all green parts removed but the first 2 inches), chopped
*1 med onion, chopped
*4-5 medium gold or assorted garden potatoes, cubed
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*2 celery ribs (plus any leaves), chopped
*1-2 garden tomatoes, chopped
*2 bay leaves
*5 cups fish stock (see stock making post)
*1 large sea trout, salmon, cod, haddock or other favorite fish fillet, (bones and skin removed) cut into 2 inch cubes
*1/3 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
*handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
*sea salt and pepper

Place a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until just crispy. Remove from pot using a slotted spoon. Place bacon on a paper towel and set aside.

Pour off all but 2-3 Tbsp of the bacon grease. Return to heat. Reduce to medium low. Add the leek, onion, potatoes, garlic and celery. Cook, occasionally stirring for about 7 minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper. (If need be, add a bit of butter to keep sauteing veggies well greased).
Add the chopped tomatoes and bay leaves. Allow to simmer for about 2 minutes before poring in the stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.

Simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Increase heat just to a low boil. Drop in the fish pieces and cover. Allow to cook about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add parsley and basil. Season with additional salt and pepper. Discard bay leaves.

Ladle into bowls and top with the crispy bacon pieces. Enjoy with thick slices of buttered sourdough toast.

Clams, mussels, shrimp, squid, or octopus pieces would make a great addition to this soup.
For more kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
To make this into a chowder, simply add raw milk and cream to your liking.

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