It’s the middle of summer, and honestly, I can’t wait for it to be over. I mean it could be nice if I were somewhere near the sea, but in the city, my prospects are not good. Combined with the amount of humidity we have, the heat can really do a number on anyone. Being outside can lead to sticky and uncomfortable situations, and going to bed (even at night) without AC can be a real challenge. Times like this, I really miss the rainy season.
I like the rain. Sure it can be a downer for some, but for me, there’s nothing better than getting soaked in the rain. Don’t know why, but I just find it exhilarating. Sometimes I miss being a kid and being allowed to play in the rain. Nowadays if I try that, I may get a few scoffs or puzzled looks. But still, I like walking in the rain on occasion. Besides, if ever get a little too much rain, and I get soaked and chilled to the bone, I can always make myself soup.
In my opinion, soup is the ultimate comfort food. I just can’t get enough of the stuff. It’s just so warm and inviting. Pumpkin, mushroom, asparagus, tofu, miso, clam chowder or chicken noodle, it doesn’t matter. Though I personally have an affinity for cream soups over chunky, broth based ones, serve me a bowl of soup and I won’t hesitate.
As a starter for our St. Patrick’s Day-themed party, I decided to make a milky fish soup. This soup is creamy and smooth, with a subtle flavor which works well with white fish. It works incredibly well with the mild licorice-like flavor of the fennel.
- 10 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 20 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 whole dried bay leaves
- 12 whole black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups total)
- 1 small fennel bulb, cut into medium dice (about 1 cup total)
- 8 cups milk
- 500 grams dory fillets, cut into 2 in wide slices
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh fennel leaves
Tie the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves with kitchen twine. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over moderate heat, melt the butter. Sauté the leeks and fennel, stirring occasionally, until softened (approx. 8 to 10 minutes). Add the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add the herbs and pepper corns, and simmer until the soup is reduced by about one-third (approx. 20 to 25 minutes). Add the fish fillets, cover, and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Season to taste.
Serve the soup in individual bowls with one piece of fillet each, making sure to evenly distribute the vegetables. Sprinkle each dish with the fennel leaves and serve immediately.
I wish it was raining right now. But then, I’ve never actually needed an excuse to make myself some soup. 🙂