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Halibut-and-Tomato Soup

Yield Makes about 5 quarts


  • 1 (1-pound) halibut fillet, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tamarind paste or concentrate
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 serrano chile peppers, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 cups fish stock or broth
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Fish sauce
  • Garnishes: chopped green onions and chopped fresh cilantro

How to Make It

  1. Combine halibut pieces, 3 tablespoons oil, and 3 tablespoons fish sauce in a large bowl; toss gently. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

  2. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan; stir in tamarind paste. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while fish marinates. Pour liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into a small bowl, discarding solids. Set liquid aside.

  3. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven; add shallots and next 4 ingredients. Sauté 5 minutes or until shallots are tender. Stir in tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Stir in fish stock and reserved tamarind liquid; bring to a boil. Stir in halibut, pineapple, and lime juice. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Serve with additional fish sauce, and garnish, if desired.

  4. Chicago's Brian Duncan, wine director at downtown Chicago's BIN 36 Restaurant, Wine Bar, and Market and BIN 36 Lincolnshire, brings an innovative touch to the Windy City's dining scene. Brian's wish to demystify wine for the consumer results in the restaurant's creative, approachable list of 50 wines by the glass and almost 400 by the bottle. Working closely with California winemakers, Brian created BIN 36 Brian's Blends--a collection of 12 (and counting) wine blends--to pair with food or enjoy on their own. Here, Brian selects wines to accompany this Asian-inspired dish.

  5. "Cooked or raw, tomatoes love Gewürztraminer, just as ginger and Gewürztraminer seem to be tightly linked in spicy aroma and flavor. Pierre Sparr Gewürztraminer Seleccion from Alsace ($15) is an incredible value for its unrelenting focus of flavor and elegance, and a great companion for this dish."