Nicolaus Balla pays homage to the freshwater fish soups of eastern Europe using American ingredients like sturgeon, collards and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms. He adds a good dose of heat with New Mexican Hatch green chile. “It’s the best American chile I’ve tasted,” he says. Slideshow: More Light StewsRecipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks 


Credit: © Christina Holmes

Recipe Summary

1 hr
6 to 8


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, fennel, leek, garlic and chiles and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 15 minutes.

  • Add the anchovy paste and chile powder to the casserole and cook, stirring, until the anchovy dissolves, about 3 minutes. Stir in the collard greens and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the fish stock and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Stir in the tomatoes and mushrooms and simmer over moderately low heat until the collards are just tender and the tomatoes start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the fish and simmer until just cooked through, about 7 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Ladle the stew into bowls and serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread.


New Mexican Hatch green chile powder has a bright, floral, fruity flavor. It is available at gourmet markets and

Suggested Pairing

Apple-scented, full-bodied Chardonnay: 2011 Scribe