Friday, 24 August 2007

Greek Style Seafood Soup



Perhaps it comes as no surprise to you that I have never been a picky eater but something I have always adored from my earliest years is seafood. Despite having no French heritage it became a monthly ritual for my father to prepare a pot of bouillabaisse with all the delights to be had at the fish market that day. I still find it intensely comforting to dip chunks of bread into seafood broth. Somewhat inspired by this family tradition this is my variation.

In truth the only connection to Greek cuisine is the abundance of fresh seafood and the aromatic herbs but as far as I’m concerned they’re pretty good elements to choose. With the heady hits of thyme, oregano and fennel, unsurprisingly this is my entry to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Scott from the Real Epicurean.




Greek Style Seafood Soup

Serves 4

Like all good seafood dishes, please alter the produce to include those offerings that are best at the market that day.

1 small carrot diced
1 washed leek chopped (I added additional leek chunks for texture)
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 onion diced
(I added a handful of scallops because they looked beautiful)
100g/3oz diced pancetta (optional but adds a richness that works beautifully with fresh seafood)
1 tin tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock (or exceptional fish stock)
A bouquet garni of fresh thyme, fennel and oregano
12-16 shelled and de-veined prawns, tails intact
16 scrubbed mussels
200g/7oz kingfish fillets in large chunks (or any firm white fish)
Additional oregano to garnish

In a heavy based pot in a mixture of butter and olive oil sauté the carrot, leeks, garlic and onion over a medium heat until slightly softened. Add the diced pancetta and allow to brown slightly.

Add the tomatoes and allow to infuse with the aromatic base. Pour in the stock and the bouquet garni. Allow the herbs to flavour the broth at a low simmer for ten minutes.

Add the kingfish pieces and simmer until almost cooked through. Stir through the prawns and as they begin to turn opaque add in the mussels. Be careful with the timing so as to avoid overcooked seafood. Pop on a lid and allow the mussels to steam open for just a few minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open.

Remove the bouquet garni and season to taste. Garnish with the extra oregano and serve in large bowls with mountains of hearty bread.

30 comments:

Rose said...

ruffle, what a reat you must have had with your father's bouillabaisse. This seafood dish looks so fresh and I love mussels.

Big Boys Oven said...

OMG! such beautiful mussels... I really fancy them so much taht I less in fancying chicks.... lol. Your soup is so well craft, so warm and so inviting... hmmmm full of aroma....

Precious Moments said...

Oh gosh this looks delicious. Wish I can have a bowl.

Wendy said...

My Dad cooked steak and omelettes. Very good steak and omelettes at that. This sounds so nutritious and wholesome. I love the sound of the broth in particular.

Truffle said...

Rose- I was a very lucky kid I think! Thanks so much :)

Big boys oven- I thinks mussels are naturally very photogenic and they take on other flavours so well. I'm glad you like the sound of it.

Precious moments- I'll send one over :)

Wendy- that sounds lovely! I love a good steak. Thanks very much.

Figs Olives Wine said...

Truffle, I completely agree about how comforting the briny broth is with bread! Cozy and rejuvenating all at the same time. The pancetta's a great touch here too. Lovely post!

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Seafood, how could you have known...

If I have 2 loves in my life, it's Greek food and seafood. This one combines the two - yum yum yum!

Anh said...

Truffle, thumb up for this glorious seafood soup!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This looks amazing! I love mussels in stew like this! Yum!

Kelly-Jane said...

Oh I can almost taste this, it looks so good, and pretty healthy as an added bonus! :)

Cynthia said...

And I think we should get some fresh, crusty French bread to soak up that broth! :)

Truffle said...

Figs Olives Wine - bread and seafood broth go so well together, don't they? The pancetta is a little indulgent but I love the depth it adds. Thanks!

Scott at Real Epicurean - I am to please! Thanks for hosting :)

Anh - thanks for all your lovely comments and for reading.

JennDZ - Thank you! I think I may have a minor obsession with mussels and broth.


Kelly-Jane - Thank you! If you omit the pancetta it's incredibly low in fat which is a great bonus.

Cynthia - sounds like a fabulous idea!

Susan said...

Mussels are natural models; they always take great shots, and you've dressed them up so beautifully. And you MUST have bread to soak up all the broth!

katiez said...

That looks lovely! I love mussels. I had no exposure to seafood as a child - right in the middle of the U.S., but I love it now. I agree about the pancetta (or a bit of ham) bringing out the best in the seafood..esp. scallops!

Valli said...

I love all things Greek!!! This fits the bill!!!

Truffle said...

Susan - thank you! I agree completely.

katiez - A woman after my own heart! Pancetta and scallops are a beautiful combination.

Valli - So glad you like the sound of it. Thanks for reading :)

Anonymous said...

This broth looks so delicious. You;re photos are always amazing!

Shayne said...

one of my all time Favorites is mussels and this looks so good and I am sure that Pancetta add so much to the dish.

sher said...

Beautiful! I have thought about making bouillabaisse--and now I will for sure!

Truffle said...

Anonymous - Thank you so much!

Shayne - I love them too! So simple and delicious.

Sher - Thanks! I hope you enjoy it. Bouillabaisse is one of those classic dishes that I never get tired of.

Nora B. said...

Tuffle, you already know that I loved the other mussel dish you made. This one is also equally enticing. I will try adding leeks into my seafood broth next time.

I have a funny story to tell you about mussels. 3 weeks ago, we bought some raw mussels from the fish market, and I told my partner, Q, that I refuse to cook them because I was tired and it takes too long to clean them. He said no problem, he'll do everything. 2 hours later, he said that he will NEVER cook mussels ever again. LOL! Luckily, we can now buy "pot ready" mussels. He was happy to hear that.

The Cooking Ninja said...

This looks super delicious! I'm drooling.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Truffle, Just catching up on our return from travels. This looks wonderful and having read the other posts we've missed - The Hairy Canary sounds fun!!

Truffle said...

Nora B. - thank you so much. It's wonderful to hear you liked the other one.

How funny! It sounds like he won't volunteer for food prep again anytime soon.Poor Q!

The Cooking Ninja - thanks so much!

Amanda at Little Foodies - it's lovely to have you back! You're so kind to catch up. Your travels sound wonderful and I look forward to hearing more about it.

Kalyn said...

Sounds wonderful. I think it's impossible to get seafood fresh enough to make something like this in Utah, unless money is no object!

Lucy said...

Don't know how I missed this Truffle...just imagining bread dipped in that broth. Lovely, as usual.

Truffle said...

Kalyn- I think we really do take it for granted! Perhaps it's time for a visit to Australia? ;)

Lucy- thanks so much!

IronEaters said...

i lov seafood and that soup jt looks divine! and eating that with bread is just de-li-cious =)

Nirmala said...

I love seafood soups. Hearty, healthy, full of goodness. This looks just great.

Truffle said...

IronEaters - thank you so much!

Nirmala - they're great, aren't they? I love any healthy indulgence. Thank you!