Photographer: Greg DuPree; Food Stylist: Katelyn Harwick; Prop Stylist: Mindi Shapiro
Active Time
1 Hour
Total Time
3 Hours 15 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1/2 cup fish, 1 1/2 cups soup, 2 tbsp. vegetables, 1/4 cup topping)

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Lobster Stock: Cook lobster shells in hot oil in a large stockpot over high, stirring often, until bright red, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add onions, and cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, star anise pods, lemongrass, ginger, and coriander seeds, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add water, and cover. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 45 minutes. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a large bowl, discarding solids. Set aside.

Step 2

Marinate the Escabèche Vegetables and Fish: Pour orange juice, lime juice, and lemon juice through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding seeds. Stir together sherry vinegar and combined juices. Toss fennel and shallot in juice mixture; cover and chill 1 hour.

Step 3

Stir together orange zest, lime zest, lemon zest, salt and olive oil in a bowl. Add grouper; cover and chill 1 hour.

Step 4

Meanwhile, prepare the Pepper Pot Soup: Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Cook onions, ginger, habanero, lemongrass, and 2 teaspoons salt in hot oil, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add squash, and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost soft, 6 minutes

Step 5

Stir in Lobster Stock, coconut milk, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard lemongrass. Process mixture with an immersion blender until smooth.

Step 6

Prepare the Butternut Squash Topping: Toss together all Butternut Squash Topping ingredients in a small bowl; transfer to a small skillet. Cook over medium until golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes.

Step 7

Prepare Escabèche Vegetables and Fish: Drain fennel mixture, discarding marinade and reserving vegetables. Remove grouper from marinade, discarding marinade. Season grouper with kosher salt and black pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add grouper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Step 8

Assemble Caribbean Seafood Pepper Pot: Place 1/2 cup grouper strips in each of 4 soup bowls; spoon about 1 1/2 cups warm Pepper Pot Soup over grouper in each bowl. Top each with 2 tablespoons Escabèche Vegetables and 1/4 cup Butternut Squash Topping. Garnish each with reserved fennel fronds and chopped fresh basil, mint, and cilantro.

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