© Mark Roper
Provençal Fish Soup
- ACTIVE: 40 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
At Terrôir restaurant at the Craggy Range winery, chef Sara Simpson flavors her lush seafood soup with port, red wine and the usual dash of licorice-scented Pernod.
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- Four 3-inch strips of orange zest
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- One 16-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
- Two 8-ounce bottles clam juice
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup ruby port
- 1 3/4 pounds skinless grouper or red snapper fillets, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp in the shell
- 1 tablespoon Pernod
- Salt and coarsely ground pepper
- In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook over moderately high heat until softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, orange zest, thyme sprigs, fennel and coriander seeds and saffron and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook over high heat until glossy, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, clam juice, wine and port and bring to a boil. Add the grouper and shrimp, cover partially and simmer for 45 minutes. Discard the zest and thyme sprigs.
- Working in batches, transfer the soup to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Rinse out the pot. Set a food mill fitted with a coarse blade over the pot and run the soup through the food mill. Bring the soup to a simmer. Stir in the Pernod and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
A full-bodied Chardonnay would be an ideal match for this luxurious dish.