A chilly winter night comes rather infrequently in my homeland. Florida offers very few opportunities for true jacket and scarf weather and most of the time, I don’t mind this sunshine state characteristic one bit. Yet, my yearning for a steaming bowl of soup is often foiled with an eighty degree December eve. It is on those slightly chillier nights- those brisk seventy degree nights that I get in serious soup spirit. With my porch doors swung wide open, allowing the fresh air to make its way into my living room and kitchen, I am in full soup swing. This week will be one of those perfectly cool weeks as a storm is coming in tomorrow night, bringing a refreshing “chilly front” right along with it. I am anticipating soup galore in my kitchen and I couldn’t be more ecstatic.
Several years ago, making a batch of soup- sans a recipe would be pretty darn intimidating. It is in recent years, I have embraced the idea of preparing an aromatic mirepoix (celery, carrots and onion- a starter to most soups) and adding to it whatever protein, veggies and stock my heart desires. Soup is especially appealing in my home because it can be made both healthfully and flavorfully. A soup that has recently become a hit on my palate and in my tummy is more of a stew of sorts. Fall Fish Stew is loaded with deliciousness like white wine, saffron and hearty veggies and is absolutely bone-warming goodness on even a Florida kind of winter night.
Fall Fish Stew
3 firm fish filets (cod, halibut or haddock)-cut into 2-3 inch pieces
3/4 cup chopped white onion
1 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp. EVOO
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 can chopped tomatoes
16 oz. Clam juice (I like Bay Harbor brand-2 bottles)
¾ cup dry white wine
1 generous pinch saffron-about 2 tsp.
1 tablespoon hot sauce-I like Tobasco for this recipe
2 tsp. Thyme
Salt and pepper
1) In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrot, onion and celery. Sautee until softened, stirring regularly, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic. Sautee another 2 minutes.
2) Add tomato paste and combine with veggies. Add canned tomatoes and thoroughly mix. Cook 3 minutes.
3) Add wine, clam juice, saffron and fish. Turn heat to medium-low and allow fish to cook with a very light boil until opaque, about 10 minutes.
4) Add all other seasonings. Stir and simmer for one minute.
5) Serve and enjoy!
Well wasn’t that easy? A simple stew that is also a crowd pleaser. Extremely healthy too-not a single fattening or caloric ingredient in the tasty concoction.