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Catalan Fish Soup - (Sopa De Pescado A La Catalana)
4 pounds cleaned fish and shellfish -- see * note
(with the fish cut into slices)
1 small onion -- minced
1 medium tomato -- chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves -- peeled
12 toasted almonds -- peeled
10 cups water
4 slices white bread -- cut in fine shavings
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley
salt and pepper -- to taste
* Note: Use any lean white fish, small or large, cleaned, but with heads and tails. Any shellfish is suitable: for example, a few clams or mussels and four or five shrimp or small crabs or a crayfish.
Put fish in 10 cups boiling water. Boil 15 minutes covered. Heat olive oil. Fry minced onion. When it takes on color, add tomato. Let tomato liquid reduce.
Add tomato-onion mixture, bay leaf, and parsley to fish when it has been boiling 15 minutes. Boil 15 minutes longer, covered. Place bread shavings in a separate pot. Strain fish soup over bread and return soup to fire. Crush almonds with garlic in a mortar; add to soup.
Boil soup slowly for 10 minutes more while separating shells, bones, and skin from fish and shellfish. Strain soup a second time, reheat with cleaned fish and shellfish, season, and serve.