Fish (Or shrimp) soup with leeks, carrots, and onion

In Recipies on June 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Just because it is summer in America’s Ukraine (Iowa) doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy a steaming bowl of soup for a modest meal!

It’s been a while since I offered up a recipe. This extremely healthy one has origins with Chef Jacques Pepin. Chef Pepin has a cooking career spanning four decades and I enjoy watching him on Public Television. Chef Pepin’s recipe differs somewhat from mine. The biggest difference is my substitution of cod loin chunks for his use of shrimp. But if your Invisible Friend has no edicts against eating seafood, by all means, try this with a dozen very large shrimp. I used a bit more vegetable and an extra cup of water. I also added a modest amount of dry thyme to my version. Chef Pepin relied on fresh, flat-leaf parsley for his total herbal contribution. Either version is splendid and is delightfully simple to prepare for a modest supper!

You will need (* denotes my version substitution):

1 ½ C diced yellow onion

1 ½ C finely diced celery (with leaves)

1 C diced carrot

2 C cod loins cut in ¾” chunks (or 12 large de-veined shrimp)

3 C water

2 C chopped leek (pale green and white parts)

1 TBS anchovy paste* (omit if using shrimp)

1-2 TBS red wine vinegar

½ tsp Aleppo* or other red pepper flakes

½ tsp dried French thyme*

1 large handful flat-leaf parsley

salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Bring the water to a boil in a large, deep skillet. Stir in the onion, celery, carrot, leek, and anchovy paste. Reduce heat to low-medium and cover. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cod chunks or shrimp. Re-cover and cook an additional 3 minutes. Stir in the red wine vinegar, pepper flakes, and thyme. Scatter the parsley over the shrimp or fish and rec-over. Cook gently at a very simmer until the shrimp are pink and firm or until the cod begins to flake with a fork. The veggies will remain colorful and a bit crunchy. Do not over-cook! Check seasoning and serve in deep bowls or crocks. Accompany with crusty bread and a nice wine of your choosing.

Bonus Lesson!

My “Devoted Dozens” of Phyne Dyners will recall that I learned how to quickly clean mud and sand from a leek by watching Chef Pepin. Here are the steps:

Using a sharp knife, trim the tough dark outer leaves at the point where they are just beginning to turn pale green, starting at the root end. Move further up the leek, trimming off the darker portions of the inner leaves as they are revealed. Now, make a cut through the leek (parallel to the length of the leek) beginning about 1 inch from the root end all the way to the end of the leaves. Rotate the leek 90-degrees and make a second identical cut. The leak will now look “sorta” like a cheerleader’s pom-pom. Carefully rinse the leek under running water, spreading your pom-pom apart as you rinse. When the leek is clean, chop it for use in recipes. Nice and easy, eh?


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