7th February 2010
Fish Soup. Or Stew. You choose.
Another Fabulous Failure.

This started as out as an inventive way to use up the enormous sack of (very large pieces of) dessicated coconut that we have cluttering up the kitchen, and all the bits of leftover vegetables from the bottom of the fridge.

But it started to go wrong in the supermarket when Rachel suggested that fish might be acceptable since Georgina had now started trying new things and would no longer only eat super noodles with ketchup on. I suppose I should have expected problems when the smell of my hot fish sauce dressing made everyone gip and completely ban it from the dining room. Even Rachel refused to have it anywhere near her bowl.

Georgina flatly refused to touch the soup.
"I won't eat fish" she said.
"I hate fish" she said.
"I hate the smell of fish" she said.
"You know I hate fish" she said.
"Why do you keep giving me fish" she asked.
"I even tried the Haggis, and I hate haggis" she said.
"I'm never going to eat fish" she said.

To cap it all off, even Sophie turned up her nose at it. And she likes fish. But apparently not the tomatoes or the mushrooms or the slop.
"It didn't really taste of anything, it was too lumpy and I didn't like all the UFO's in it" she said.
"The Unidentified Floating Objects" she said.

Bloody Philistines! I thought it was delicious.

Fish soup
soup fish
Fish Soup
Serves 6. Probably. If they all ate some.

1lb cod, haddock or coley, skinned and de-boned
12 new potatoes
1 small butternut squash
2 rounded Tablespoons flour.
2 pints milk, or as necessary
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 large onion, diced
1 cup dessicated coconut. Soaked if you have the time.
baby sweetcorn
cherry tomatoes
carton button mushrooms

fishy dressing
2" ginger, finely grated or julienned.
2 Tablespoons fish sauce.
juice of 1 lime
Start the potatoes boiling in a large pot of water to soften them. No need to scrub or peel them, the pre-boil will take care of that.
Fry the flour in butter until cooked through, but not darkened. Add the garlic then the onions and the dessicated coconut. Fry until the onions soften, but don't brown them.
I fried the onions and coconut in butter separately, but I don't see why you couldn't do this all together.
Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to make up a thin roux of sufficient quantity. (set aside some of the mixture whilst continuing to dilute if it seems to be going to be too thick). Purée thoroughly in a blender then season, pour into a large pan and bring to a gentle simmer.
If you weren't cooking for philistines you might forget about blending the onion and chop it into reasonably chunky pieces to fry separately and add to the roux now. I think it makes quite a nice thickener though.
Add the pre-cooked potatoes to the roux.
Clean the mushrooms, cut up any larger ones and add to the sauce.
Cut the baby sweetcorn into nice bite-sized chunks diagonally and add to the pot.
Cut the mangetout diagonally into halfs or bit-sized slices and add to the pot.
Peel the butternut squash, cut into slices, deseed and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to the pot.
Cut the courgette into bite-sized chunks and add to the pot.
Break the broccoli into florets and add to the pot
Cut the fish into bite-sized chunks and add to the pot
Add the cherry tomatoes to the pot and simmer for another 10-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the tomatoes are soft, but not popped.

Meanwhile make the dressing. Fry the ginger in a little vegetable oil until it begins to crisp and brown, then throw in the fish sauce and the lime juice. you might have to do this outside if you don't want to get the dressing banished forever, the smell is a little overpowering
If you have grated the ginger you will need to strain this dressing, if julienned you might be able to leave the ginger in.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Drizzle with a little dressing and serve.

Delicious. I thought. The dressing cuts the slightly cloying thickness of the soup.
Obviously if you weren't trying to make it acceptable to small tummies you could spice it up Thai styley.
If you prepare and add the ingredients in the right order they will all be perfectly cooked at serving time.

Comments (0)

No comments yet!

Post a comment (Optional)
  • Allowed markup: <a> <i> <b> <em> <u> <s> <strong> <code> <pre> <p>
  • All other tags will be stripped, unless they are in a <pre> (use this for blocks of code)