Mediterranean Fish Soup with Rouille and Croutons
Try this Mediterranean Fish Soup with Rouille and Croutons and praise the Lord you were born in the Mediterranean Sea!
1.1 kg mixed Mediterranean fish, such as red mullet, gurnard and rascasse, cleaned
a pinch of saffron strands
a pinch of cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
90g carrot, chopped
20g celery, chopped
80g onion, chopped
20g fennel, chopped
1/2 garlic clove, lightly crushed
25g leek, chopped
100g plum tomatoes, halved and deseeded
60g tomato purée
1 small waxy potato, about 60g, diced
2 litres Chicken Stock (see page 44)
For the rouille
1 free-range egg yolk
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon harissa paste
a pinch of saffron strands
85ml pomace oil (or vegetable oil)
50g cooked mashed potato
85ml vegetable oil
For the croûtons
1 tablespoon olive oil
Drain the fish in a colander, then mix with the saffron, cayenne pepper and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight. The next day, place a colander over a bowl and pour the marinated fish in to drain, keeping the liquid that drains through. Heat a large frying pan, add a tablespoon of the remaining olive oil and fry the fish until golden on both sides.
Take a large, heavy-based saucepan and get it very hot on the hob. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and fry the carrot, celery, onion, fennel, garlic and leek until golden brown. Add the Pernod and Armagnac and set them alight with a match, making sure your face is well away from the pan.
Next, add the tomatoes and tomato purée and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Lastly add the fried fish, juice from the marinade, the potato and the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Blend the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth and then pass it through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Season with lemon juice and salt.
For the rouille, blend the egg yolk, garlic, harissa and saffron with a pinch of salt in a mini food processor or using a pestle and mortar. Slowly add the pomace oil, as if making mayonnaise. Add the mashed potato and blend until smooth, then gradually mix in the vegetable oil. The rouille should be quite thick but if it becomes too thick to blend, thin it down slightly with a little warm water. Adjust the seasoning with salt and a little lemon juice.
For the croûtons, cut the baguette into 2mm-thick slices with a serrated knife. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil and bake in an oven preheated to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 7 minutes or until golden. Reheat the soup, if necessary, and serve in bowls, accompanied by the rouille and croûtons.