Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Let them eat....Fish soup with rouille

Give yourself enough time to make this excellent soup. It is not complicated it just takes a little longer than a normal soup. The result is worth it though. It has a full body and complex flavour and it makes you look as though you know what you are doing. You can make it with cheap frozen prawns as they will be pureed so it dont matter. You can serve it as a soup or as a stew with fish and shellfish poached in at the end. It is a very special soup as it is but if you make a rouille and crostini to go with it you probably will get to bypass purgatory.



Rouille is very similar to Aïoli but with added ingredients. The classic Nicoise version is garlic, olive oil, egg yolk, salt, cayenne and saffron and is the sauce served with Bouillabaisse. My version today had those things plus anchovy, lemon juice and zest, ñora pepper and guindilla (tiny little dried chillis). If you are a purist feel free to hunt me down and kill me. You put a large spoonful of it on your crostini and in your soup and you stir and you love it. 


Fish Soup: For 6 (Make double as it freezes real good)


2 onion chopped

2 carrot chopped

1 leek chopped

3 sticks celery chopped

sprig 'o' thyme

bay leaf

toasted saffron

1 star aniseed

olive oil

bit of butter

Sweat these mothers together with lid on till them awful soft and starting to brown.


500 g shell on (ultra important) frozen prawns.

75g tomato puree

Turn up the heat and add these and brown further


splash 'o' brandy

splash 'o' Noilly PRAT 

splash 'o' Pastis

On full volume add these, ignite and cook out


good drink 'o' white wine

1 tin 'o' chopped toms

Reduce heat to medium. Add these and cook down a bit


2 litres liquid preferably fish stock

Add these. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 mins. Puree with a handwhizzer (Braun 600 watt with metal stem is excellent as are ALL the attachments) and pour through sieve using handwhizzer to help it through. Be sure to use a high sided container in which to pass the puree through the sieve, as this can be messy. Season and voila.


Optional - further fish and shellfish to be poached at the end just before serving. Monkfish and really big nice fresh prawns is good.


Above is a photo of Rouille. Make as Allioli (Catalan version of Aïoli, see recipix) but add saffron et al at the beginning with the garlic.


Croutons - slice good rustic bread thin and lay on baking tray. Lightly oil (olive of course) them and bake at 125ºC for 20 mins.

Dessert: Orange caramel upside down cake. Think -  the B52s track Cake off Mesopotamia




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Ben Crawshaw said...

Oooh,that looks good...