Saturday, February 13, 2010

#223 Marion Jones's Green Fish Soup

Here’s a relatively straight-forward recipe – there’s not many left to attempt that are quick and easy, everything else is either bizarre, labour-intensive or both. Not be put off by the name – there are no green fish in it – it is just white fish, the green colour coming from broccoli. FYI: Marion Jones does/did co-own a restaurant in Malvern; I know nothing else about her. She must’ve been a mate of Jane’s.

Begin by sweating a sliced medium onion and a small sliced leek in an ounce of butter. Be careful not to let it colour. When soft, add an ounce of flour and stir for a few minutes so that the flour cooks out a little. Pour in 1 ¾ of fish stock that has been flavoured with nutmeg and fennel (crush a few fennel seeds up and grate some nutmeg in, if using fish stock cubes) and simmer for 10 minutes, then add a pound of skinned white fish fillets – cod, haddock, whiting, hake, etc. – and simmer for a further minute. Allow to cool a little before blending it. While the stock cooks, trim 13 ounces of broccoli – you can use sprouting broccoli or the more readily available calabrese broccoli – and boil in salted water until just tender. As soon as they are cooked, drain them and refresh them in cold water to give them a vivid green colour. Make sure you reserve the cooking water. Add the cooked broccoli and blend again, thinning the soup with the reserved cooking liquor. If you want to be posh, pass it through a sieve. Season with salt and pepper, and stir through some cream if you like.

#223 Marion Jones’s Green Fish Soup. This was an okay recipe, but nothing to shout about. It tasted a bit like those Findus boil in the bag cod in parsley sauce from 1970s and 80s. Remember them? The white fish and broccoli combination work well as they have a certain complementary sweetness. I wouldn’t make it again, but I would eat it if someone else cooked it for me 5/10.

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