Snapper head fish soup with garlic croutons

all details

This recipe makes a good quantity and the extra can be frozen. It is quite a performance with the double-straining so it makes sense to make this quantity.

Snapper head fish soup with garlic croutons
Photo: Marina Oliphant

Ingredients

  • For the soup
  • 1.5kg snapper heads, cleaned and chopped by the fishmonger*
  • 150g tomato paste
  • 5 litres water
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 carrots, chopped into rough dice
  • 2 leeks, washed and chopped into rings
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • bouquet garni of large sprig thyme, few parsley stalks and a bay leaf
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper or a few chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • For the croutons
  • 4 slices sourdough or equivalent quantity Turkish bread
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • *If snapper heads are not available, rock flathead or blue eye heads and frames will be excellent too.

Method

For the soup

Put fish into a large pot with the tomato paste and the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Do not skim.

Add everything else except the saffron and simmer for 45 minutes.

Push all through the coarsest disc of a food mill. Discard all bony debris. Now push the soup through the medium disc of the food mill. (You can omit the first pass with the coarse disc but it is very hard to get the soup and vegetables and fish pieces through a medium disc without the extra step).

Return the soup to the rinsed-out pot and add the saffron.

Simmer for 10 minutes and check for salt and pepper. If you prefer a smoother texture the soup can be run through a blender at this point.

For the croutons

Preheat oven to 200C.

Brush the bread slices with olive oil and rub lightly with a cut clove of garlic. Cut into 3cm cubes and toast in the oven until golden.

Serve warm in hot soup.

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  • Main Ingredients - Fish
  • Cuisine - French

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