Recipe: Fish consomme

By Silvia Nacamulli, May 28, 2009
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If you think that making fish soup is a long and complicated affair, then think again. This recipe is simple and delicious. I use only the head and bones of the fish to make a tasty and delicate consommé, to which I add a little pasta at the end to make it more Italian. You can also mix different fish to give it a richer taste.

Use the head and the bones to make the fish consommé and the fillets for your main course. If you prefer to make a chunky and rich fish soup, ask your fishmonger to skin the fillets and cook them in the consommé for 10 minutes just before serving it.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
● 2 heads and bones of fresh sea bass/hake/red snapper/sea bream
● 1 celery stick
● 1 peeled carrots cut into chunks
● ½ peeled onion
● Small bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped
● 1 bay leaf
● 2 slices of lemon
● 5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
● 2 crushed cloves garlic
● 100g plum tomatoes or passata (fresh or from the tin)
● 2 anchovy fillets
● A splash of white wine
● Approx 2 litres water
● 100g spaghetti (optional)
● A pinch of crushed chilli (optional)
● Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
● Freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese (optional)

Method
● Fill a large saucepan with cold water.
● Add fish heads and bones to the water together with the lemon, the bay leaf, the carrot, the celery, the onion, half of the parsley and a spoonful of sea salt.
● Cover with a lid, bring to the boil, reduce the flame to a minimum cook for 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally and breaking the head and bones with the spoon.
● In a separate saucepan, warm up the olive oil together with the crushed garlic, the chilli, salt and pepper, the anchovy, the remaining parsley and, after a minute, a splash of wine. Once the wine has evaporated add the tomatoes, mix thoroughly and let cook for 5 minutes.
● Sieve the boiling fish broth, discard the bones and vegetables and transfer the broth into pan with the thick tomato base. Bring to the boil, taste and add salt if needed.
● Tip: If you want an Italian touch, then once the consommé boils add the spaghetti cut into short pieces of 3-4 cm (1-1.5 inches) and cook according to the packet directions.
● Serve immediately with an optional sprinkle of pecorino or Parmesan cheese.

Silvia’s website is www.cookingforthe soul.com.

    Last updated: 10:03am, May 28 2009