I made Fish Soup the other night with a recipe I came up with. It was really good so I thought I should jot the recipe down here for the future. I have been trying to re-create a soup at the Chase Bar and Grill here in downtown SB, but have been unable to do so with previous. But I finally came pretty close last night. The Chase calls it “Venetian Fish Chowder,” which arguably doesn’t exist within the confines of Venice, since “chowder” is an American thing. This soup is not chowdery at all, as there is no flour or milk in it. Anyway, their soup is a delightful side dish, although they routinely over-salt it. Here is my version:
2 bottles of clam juice (about 8 oz each)
About 16 oz. water
1/3 bottle white wine, like chardonnay or sauv blanc
About 10 cloves garlic confit (peeled and cooked in oil at slight bubble)
8 oz can crushed or whole tomatoes
two stalks celery (Fennel might be a better choice)
Small white potatoes or small Yukon Golds
1 1/4 lb fish (I used cod, which was too delicate. Red snapper would be better. Also, could easily add mussels or clams for fun).
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 to 1/2 Cup instant potato flakes
parsely for garnish
In a small saucepan, boil potatoes in enough water to cover til cooked, about 20 mins. Drain. Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan saute carrots and celery in olive or vegetable oil for about 10 mins til soft. Pour in clam juice, water, wine, tomatoes, garlic cloves, and bring to a slow simmer. Salt and pepper both sides of fish, then add to saucpan. Add potatoes. Simmer til fish is completely poached, about 7 or 8 mins. Add potato flakes a Tb at a time until you get the desired thickness – it should not be watery but it should not be anywhere near as thick as New England chowder. If you use a starchy potato like russet, you probably dont need to add flakes. I also tossed two small baguette slices in the soup for rustic thickening. Dont over-poach the fish. Serve with baguette. Its easy and delicious and low-cal, if you care.