Spanish Fish Soup

"This fragrant fish soup from Catalonia is almost a meal in itself. Just add a loaf of bread and a green salad for a hearty supper. From Good Food Magazine, March 1986."
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Ready In:
1hr 25mins




  • Heat broiler. Place peppers on foil-lined baking sheet and broil 6 inches from heat, turning occasionally, until black and blistered on all sides, 15-20 minutes. Peel peppers and remove stems and seeds; cut into 1-inch dice, reserving juices.
  • Saute bacon in large casserole over medium heat until golden, about 8 minutes. Drain bacon. Pour off all but 2 T. fat from pan. Add onions to fat and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, two-thirds of the roasted peppers with juice, 1 T. parsley, the orange zest, thyme, and bay leaf. Saute 2 minutes.
  • Add potatoes, clam juice, and wine to casserole. Boil gently uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Process remaining red pepper, a few pieces cooked potato, the egg yolks, and lemon juice in blender or food processor until smooth. While machine is running, add oil in thin steady stream to make mayonnaise.
  • Heat soup to boiling. Remove and discard orange zest and bay leaf. Add fish to soup. Add a little water if necessary to cover ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer covered until fish is not quite cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and reserved bacon and simmer just until shrimp are opaque, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir large spoonful of hot soup into mayonnaise and stir mixture back into soup. Gently heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, but do not allow to boil. Add all but 1 t. remaining parsley and the cayenne. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Ladle soup into wide bowls and sprinkle remaining parsley over servings.

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I didn't start cooking until my early 20's, even though I come from a family of accomplished and admired home cooks. While I grew up watching my Italian grandmother in the kitchen, I remained uninterested in trying anything on my own. As a young lady, I was known for being particularly ignorant in the kitchen, with no idea how to even make a hot dog! All this changed, however, when I got engaged. I realized it was time to let my inherent talents out of the bag. At the time, the New York Times had a weekly column called The 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. Each week, I would follow these recipes diligently, and taught myself to cook that way. From there, I began to read cookbooks and consult with relatives on family recipes. At my ripe old age now, I feel I know enough to put together a very pleasing meal and have become accomplished in my own right. Having an Irish father and an Italian mother, I'm glad I inherited the cooking gene (and the drinking one too!). One thing I have learned is that simpler is always better! I always believe cooking fills a need to nurture and show love. After being widowed fairly young and living alone with my dog and cats, I stopped cooking for awhile, since I really had no one to cook for. I made care packages for my grown son occasionally, and like to cook weekly for my boyfriend, so I feel like I am truly back in the saddle!!
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