A lot of fish products or dishes don’t really sound all that good, such as fish tacos or fish sauce. Sometimes, however, they are delicious. Fish soup or stew can be one of those surprisingly tasty dishes. Recently I decided to experiment with some fish I had purchased from the Saratoga Springs Farmers Market Fish Monger Pura Vida that had been in the freezer for a little too long. The debut of this local vendor has been inspiring me to purchase and prepare various types of seafood. Since I had some stock from a chicken I’d roasted the week before, the time was right for fish stew.
I roasted some potatoes, squash and onions with olive oil, thyme and salt and pepper. I’m not including exact measurements for any of the ingredients since this particular stew can really be made to taste, perhaps starting with the amount of fish you have (I had a little over a half pound).
While the vegetables roasted I sauteed the fish and let it break apart in to chunks, adding lemon juice and salt and pepper as it cooked. I opened a can of chopped stewed tomatoes and added them, along with the roasted vegetables, to a large pot in which the chicken stock had melted. I also added about a cup of cannellini beans that I had cooked myself (canned beans would be fine too). I’ve been finding lately that I really like cannellini beans in soups, especially soups with tomato in them. Also, almost every time I make soup I add at least one bay leaf. I’m not exactly sure what it does to the flavor, but I know it makes the soup taste more substantial. Once the fish was finished cooking I made sure it was broken up in to bite-sized pieces and added it to the stew. The result was a nice, sturdy stew that was improved further by adding some chopped parsley and a little grated Parmesan cheese.
We ate the final product with some homemade bread. My husband generally dislikes fish, but he was a fan of this soup. I don’t know that he helped himself to seconds, but he did completely finish his first serving. I continue to be excited about having access to fresh seafood and eager to continue to find new ways to cook with it.