This dish was inspired by the homemade fish soup I savoured at Stalactites, a greek restaurant in Melbourne.
PREP TIME Rather long, unless you have the convenience of a hand held blender to finely chop the vegetables
COOK IN 45 mins
SERVINGS & SCALING
Original recipe yield: Serves 4, with bread on the side.
1/3 kg (approximately) of firm fish
1/3 cup olive oil
2 onions sliced (very finely)
2 potatoes sliced (into cubes)
2 carrots sliced (into very small cubes)
1 cup celery chopped
1 clove garlic minced
2 cups tomatoes (1/2 can peeled tomatoes) (chopped tomatoes)
1 wineglass dry white wine (and one for the cook ;))
6 cups water or fish stock
1 bay leaf (optional)
Peppercorns (to taste)
Sea salt (to taste)
1/2 lemon (juice of) (important)
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup rice (semi-cooked, should be no more than equivalent of the total amount of celery and carrots when cooked, since you don't want the rice to overwhelm the soup dish)
2. Thinly slice fish (I used toman (local fish) or any firm flesh fish like snapper will do) & marinate the fish slices with salt and pepper.
3. Separately, in a pan, heat olive oil, fry onion, potatoes, carrots, celery, garlic. Sprinkle water and let it simmer for 5 mins, add tomatoes, wine, water (6 cups with 1 cube stock), bay leave (if you have this) and peppercorns, bring to boil and continue simmering at low heat for around 30 mins. Add drained rice, salt, lemon juice, parsley and fish at the very last step. Bring to boil, lower heat and continue cooking until fish is tender, for about fifteen minutes.
4. Taste the soup - add more lemon juice if more zestiness is desired.
1. I used a Bosch handheld blender to pulse through the vegetables coarsely - this saved a lot of time on preparation even though the vegetables were not evenly chopped (not quite possible with a simple handheld blender). Generally, the soup should have the appearance of a summer vegetable soup, but with fish slices and a zesty punch to it.
2. For a less heavy meal option, leave out the rice and simply have the soup on its own.