Broth to Bowl: Mastering the Art of Great Soup from Six Simple Broths is a fantastic new book by Drew Smith for all those people who (like me) love a good soup but don’t really know where to start when it comes to making your own.
Acclaimed food writer Drew takes the reader through buying basic ingredients, making the most of left-overs and understanding the health benefits associated with natural and delicious soups and stew. From French bouillabaisse to Thai Tom Yum Goong, Gazpacho and Japanese Dashi. Here is one of my favourite recipes from the book.
I make quite a few fish chowders or stews. Strictly, these are not chowders because I only use a small amount of cream and don’t break crackers into them. Nor are they stews, as they don’t require long, slow cooking. They are somewhere in between. The fish change with the season but hake is a good meaty standby. I like something bony in there like gurnard or bream, or sometimes a little piece of smoked fish. It seems expensive at first, but you should get 10 portions out of it. You will need two pans and to cook it in two stages.
450G MEATY WHITE FISH such as HAKE, COD or HADDOCK
450G BONY FISH such as GURNARD or BREAM
225G SMOKED COD or HADDOCK
2L PRAWN BROTH
200ML PASSATA or 400G tinned TOMATOES
50ML DOUBLE CREAM
DILL to garnish
PAPRIKA to taste (optional)
Place the fish and prawns in a large wide saucepan with the sliced leeks. Cover with the broth and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, cover and take off the heat. Leave to cool down for at least 20 minutes.
Break up the fish by hand, being careful to pick out any bones (especially from the gurnard or bream), to leave clean skinless fillets. Shell the prawns and add, along with fish and scallops, halved, to the soup with the passata or tomatoes and a generous slurp of double cream. Bring back to a simmer and serve. Garnish with dill. If you want a little more edge, paprika will do the job.