The soup worked. I was kind of stressed about it. After I made such a dramatic point about the fish stock with my glassy-eyed John Dory photo, I knew some people wanted to know how the actual soup came off. And to tell you the truth, I had to really think about it. It has been a couple of years now since I’ve had the pleasure of a serving of the snapper chowder at Stock Market in Granville Island Market. I actually scrolled through the reviews of the restaurant looking for descriptors and found a few helpful ones. In the end though, I had to go deeply into my taste memory and what I clearly remembered is as follows: It was a little chunky. It had a base flavor of oysters and bay leaves. There was a ton of celery with some actual stringy bits that didn’t puree out. And it was completely nondairy. Here is how I built the soup to go with the stock.
1 ½ – 2 yellow onions, chopped
A bundle of celery about 3” in diameter, including leaves, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1-2 leeks, chopped
3-5 bay leaves
1 potato, peeled and cubed
2 liters fish stock
¼ cup Arborio rice
2-3 fish fillets, diced into ½ inch cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Sauté all of the vegetables, except the potato, in olive oil until soft, but not browned. Cook the potato in a small saucepan, with a little water, until tender. Puree vegetables in a food processor or with an emersion blender. Leave it a little chunky. Add solids to fish stock and heat.
Stir in Arborio rice and simmer until rice is soft.
Add the fish to the heated stock and simmer, without boiling, until fish is cooked, but tender.
Season with salt and pepper.
The Rosemary, Scallion Focaccia Bread is a David Tanis reprint. I have already written about it at Dinner at Diane’s. It’s always great, but remember, you have to start it one day ahead of when you want to eat it.