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Chef Ken Frank’s Fish Soup with Tomato, Fennel and Saffron

Chef Ken Frank’s Fish Soup with Tomato, Fennel and Saffron

Serves 4

3 to 4 pounds fresh Whole Rock Cod or similar species, filleted and skinned, save bones and heads

4 TB good olive oil

1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced

1 bulb fennel, sliced(save tops for garnish)

6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

6 medium sized ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded( out of season use good canned tomatoes)

1 ts saffron threads

½ bottle crisp dry white wine

1 batch alioli sauce (also on site)

1 baguette

Additional good olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 4 TB good olive oil in a large non-reactive pan. Add sliced onion, sliced fennel bulb and cook over moderate heat, stirring from time to time until nicely golden brown. Add the chopped garlic and the peeled seeded tomatoes. Continue to cook while stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen all brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the fish frames and heads, the saffron, the half bottle of dry white wine and two cups water (or as needed to barely cover the fish frames). Pre-season with salt and fresh ground black pepper and set to simmer for 45 minutes.

In the meantime:

-Prepare the alioli sauce per attached recipe and reserve.

-Cut the baguette into long inch thick strips on a bias. Brush them with good olive oil and grill, reserve.

-Slice the fish fillets into very thin strips, reserve.

After 45 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and pass all of the contents through a food mill fitted with its coarse plate. Soup should be quite liquid but slightly rustic in texture. Discard bones left behind in food mill and return the soup to the pan. Verify seasoning and adjust to taste. Add fish slivers to soup, stir to separate them and bring soup back to a gentle simmer for a few minutes.  Serve with fennel fronds which you remembered to save, grilled bread and alioli sauce. This should be consumed with a generous amount of alioli sauce stirred into your soup, alternating spoonfuls of soup with bites of grilled bread soaked in same. Wearing a bib is recommended.