2000s Recipes + Menus
Provençal Fish Soup
- Active time:1 1/4 hr
- Start to finish:1 3/4 hr
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- 4 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
- 1 large fennel bulb, stalks discarded, reserving fronds for garnish, and bulb chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 large celery ribs, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
- 2 California or 4 Turkish bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
- 5 lb whole whiting, perch, or cod (preferably with heads), cleaned and rinsed well
- 5 medium tomatoes, chopped (4 cups)
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 4 (3- by 1-inch) strips fresh orange zest
- 6 cups water
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 baguette, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
Equipment:a food mill fitted with medium disk
Wash leeks (see cooks’ note, below).
Cook leeks, fennel bulb, carrots, celery, and garlic in oil with herbes de Provence, bay leaves, cayenne, saffron, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in an 8-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
While vegetable mixture cooks, cut fish crosswise into 2- to 3-inch lengths.
Add tomatoes, wine, and zest to vegetable mixture and bring to a boil, then boil 30 seconds. Add fish, water, and tomato paste and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until fish completely falls apart, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Arrange baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and thoroughly dried, about 20 minutes.
Force soup through food mill into a large heavy pot, discarding solids. Reheat soup over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Mound rouille on croutons and put 1 in bottom of each soup bowl. Pour soup around croutons.
- Wash chopped leeks in a large bowl of water, agitating them, then lift out and drain.
- Soup, without rouille and croutons, can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, uncovered, until completely cooled, then covered. Reheat before serving.