Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Fish soup/stew, extra yummy! (the cheats way)

Grab a large handful of frozen prawns in their shells. (these must be cold water shrimps or prawns to get the flavour). Bring to the boil and simmer for at least 20 minutes or longer.

I use frozen Fruits de Mer and I had some frozen cod.  Take it out of the freezer now (you don't have to wait for it to defrost). These are cereal bowls to give you an idea of how much. This will feed three or four people.
Finely chop one large (mild) onion (less if it isn't mild) and 2 or 3 stalks of celery and one clove of garlic.. Fry them very very slowly in butter or mild olive oil. This is more like sweating them than frying. It should take about 20 minutes, the slower the better with the lid on until it is almost a mushy mess.

Whilst the prawns are boiling and the onions and celery are gently cooking, get a few tablespoons of mayonnaise (I use Helmans but it doesn't matter as long as it isn't Tesco's own brand). Add a small crushed clove of garlic. Add a bit at a time until it has a flavour you like. Then add a little pepper sauce, not too much, you should almost not be able to taste it. 

By this time your prawns should be well cooked. Let them cool down a bit and then put them through a blender or food processor. Do this this in batches, otherwise it spits everywhere as it's hot.

Sieve the blended prawn and their liquor into the onion and celery mix, push with a back of a spoon to get some of the mushy prawns through.

Add some tomato purée, not too much as it's easy to overwhelm the fish with too much. Passata is good as an alternative, or even a couple of chopped tomatoes.

This should be the colour, or a little more red.

Add a couple of good teaspoons of fresh or frozen chopped parsley (never use the dried parsley, it's yucky).
Now slice up a long baguette of French bread and toast it. Grate some parmesan cheese.
 Add the fish to the stock and bring gently to the boil, (we're women we can do the toasting and this at the same time), low the heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Once the fish is nearly cooked add the shellfish, bring it back to the boil, turn off the heat. In five minutes the residual heat will have cooked the shellfish (you really don't want over cooked calamari if that's in your mix, it goes like rubber bands).

The cheese and mayonnaise go on the table with the toasted baguette.

There are  two ways to serve, our favourite is to have it one go. Spread some mayonnaise on a bit of the toast, sprinkle some cheese over this and float in the stew. I add some chilli oil, just a drizzle to mine, but DH doesn't. As the bread started to go soggy, you will be in food heaven.
The other way is use your ladle to serve the soup, have the bread, mayonnaise  and the cheese with this, then serve the fish as a second course.

I cannot tell you how yummy this is.
If we are feeling posh and I have the time for a dinner party, I make it with monk fish, shellfish and other white fish. I use the heads and bones in the stock as well as prawns.

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