June 20, 2012
I've been trying to incorporate more seafood into our diet.
I'm meeting a surprising amount of resistance actually. BigJ hates orange coloured fish, littlej and MiddleC both hate prawns and they all hate picking meat around tiny little fishy bones. I'm trying to change their perception of fish and give them courage to tackle the unknown at the same time.
A curry was on my radar, we all love Asian style curries, and familiarity is always comforting, but then with minus 5*C outside, I got to craving a lovely, thick, rib sticking bowl of soup to cuddle my hands around. My family will love it! Well, with nothing else on offer it's love it or go hungry- those are my rules :)
I was going to buy a selection of seafood, but then I spied this marinara mix- what a bargain at just $5kg! Obviously needing to be used quickly, but with a great mix of white fish, mussels, prawns, salmon, ocean trout and calamari I wasn't going to pass it up.
750gm Seafood Marinara Mix
3 Corn Cobs
1 big or 2 small Carrots
3 nice Eshallots or 1 large Onion
4 medium Potatoes
Veggie or Fish Stock (about 1.5lt, but varies)
2 cloves of Garlic
3 tablespoons Gluten free Flour
Flat leaf Parsley
Lemon Zest and juice to taste
Salt and Pepper
Strip the kernels from the corn cobs, slicing down the length into lovely milky slabs
Don't waste the empties, I popped them and the other veggie off-cuts into a pot of water to make the stock for my soup while I prep the rest of the ingredients
Chop the veggies into nice dice. You certainly don't need to make them this small, I just thought they looked pretty. Use a food processor if you like
I also chopped the seafood smaller to make it incorporate into the soup better, and make it less 'obvious' visually
Pop the shallots, celery and carrot and garlic into a pan with a couple of tablespoons of oil, and sweat them down gently without colouring until slightly softened
Add in the flour and stir to coat and to cook out the 'rawness' in the flour.
Careful it doesn't stick or burn!
Pour in the stock, add the potatoes and bay leaf and season
Leave to simmer gently until the potatoes are just tender. Stir from time to time just to make sure it doesn't catch on the bottom
A good chowder is nice and thick, a lot contain cream or milk, but I want to keep mine dairy free so I think I can get a great creamy texture by quickly pulsing the finished soup instead. I certainly don't want to puree it, just a quick buzz or two with my stick blender to smash out some of the starch from the potatoes and corn.
See, Before and After:
Now it's time to add in the seafood.
Turn the heat right down low. Stir around gently, the heat of the soup will start to cook it straight away and you certainly don't want to over cook it into little fishy bullets- yuck!
This is the time to check for final seasoning and even add in a little lactose or dairy free cream if you like. I also added a quick scrape of lemon zest and a bit more finely chopped parsley to freshen it up before plating
Now the Final Product!
Lovely thick and creamy, mellow with the mix of seafood with a little zing from the lemon. Yummo! Just what was needed for such a freezing cold evening.
So Dear Readers, do you like soup on a miserable cold night, and does your family eat much seafood?