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Provençal Fish Soup

Photo: © Mark Roper
Yield 4
At Terrôir restaurant at the Craggy Range winery, chef Sara Simpson flavors her lush seafood soup with port, red wine and the usual dash of licorice-scented Pernod.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 4 3-inch strips of orange zest
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 16-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
  • 2 8-ounce bottles clam juice
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup ruby port
  • 1 3/4 pounds skinless grouper or red snapper fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp in the shell
  • 1 tablespoon Pernod
  • Salt and coarsely ground pepper

How to Make It

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook over moderately high heat until softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, orange zest, thyme sprigs, fennel and coriander seeds and saffron and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook over high heat until glossy, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, clam juice, wine and port and bring to a boil. Add the grouper and shrimp, cover partially and simmer for 45 minutes. Discard the zest and thyme sprigs.

  2. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Rinse out the pot. Set a food mill fitted with a coarse blade over the pot and run the soup through the food mill. Bring the soup to a simmer. Stir in the Pernod and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.