Delicious and homemade fish soup with striped bass, red bell pepper and potatoes.
Fish soup isn’t something I make on a regular basis. But because my really excellent fishing adventure just after Labor Day gifted me with about 5 lbs. of gorgeous striped bass (vacuum sealed and in the freezer), and because Significant Eater (for some reason?) decided that she wanted fish soup, out came the 4 quart saucepan the other night.
Oh yeah, I’ve made different variations of fish soup in the past. Once, I made an outstanding Cioppino, even making a fish/crab stock for the base; the house smelled like fish for about a week after that. I’ve made clam chowder – both cream and tomato based. I’ve even made Bouillabaisse, and boy is that ever a lot of work…just spelling it is a pain in the ass.
Anyway, this fish soup was gonna be easy – I only wanted to use stuff I had in the pantry and or fridge.
- 1 lb. striped bass (you can sub any other firm, white-fleshed fish), in chunks
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 whole red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 stalks celery (and leaves, if you have them), chopped
- 1 lb. potatoes, cut into 2" chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. pimenton - bittersweet or hot, your call
- ⅛ tsp. saffron, toasted lightly
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 28 oz. can tomatoes (seeded), otherwise use all
- 1 cup chicken stock or canned broth
- 1 cup water
- parsley, minced (use stems, thyme, bay leaf to make bouquet garni)
- Salt and pepper
- Sweat the first 5 ingredients.
- Bring stock to simmer and add saffron to infuse. Oh yeah, if you don't have saffron, don't worry - do you have any Old Bay?
- When vegetables are translucent, add pimenton and stir. Add wine and cook it off. Add tomatoes, broth, water, bouquet garni, salt and pepper. Bring to simmer; let simmer for 30 minutes. Season it to taste.
- Add fish - cook till done - maybe 5 minutes, maybe 8 or 10. Remember, fish is going to keep cooking after you turn off the heat, so better to undercook slightly. Remove bouquet garni, add parsley, stir, TASTE and serve.
Mitch Weinstein is an avid seeker of good food, culinary school grad and writer of the blog Tasty Travails. When not cooking at home, he is on the hunt for that next delicious restaurant meal, great market or maybe even a cocktail. He regularly contributes to the food and drink forums on mouthfulsfood.com, eGullet.org, Chowhound.com and others.