Halibut and Saffron Soup
The View From the Great Island
This recipe is a version of a classic Scandinavian soup. It has a base of wine, stock and cream and a generous amount of saffron to give it a distinctive flavor as well as color. I accented mine with dill. This soup isn’t thick and heavy like a chowder. …
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ white onion (chopped)
- 1 leek (sliced)
- 1 small bulb fennel ( halved and thinly sliced)
- 1 bunch baby parsnips ( peeled and sliced)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups stock (fish is best, I used chicken)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 big pinches saffron
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp tomato paste (I keep a tube in the fridge)
- Lemon juiced
- ¾ lb halibut fillet, cut in bite sized chunks
- ⅓ cup fresh dill leaves
- Heat the butter in a heavy bottomed pot and saute the vegetables for about 15 minutes until they start to soften.
- Add the wine to the vegetables, then the water, stock, bay leaves and saffron. Crush the saffron between your fingers as you add it. Season with salt and pepper and bring up to a simmer. Cook gently for about 15 minutes,
- Add the cream and lemon juice, and bring back to a boil. Check the seasoning, and then add the halibut and dill. Cover the pan and turn off the heat. The fish will gently poach in the heat of the soup. Let sit for about 15 minutes.
- At this point you can serve the soup, or, better yet, let it cool and refrigerate it for a few hours to give the flavors a chance to develop, then reheat gently before serving. Be sure to taste it to adjust the seasonings, and throw on some fresh dill sprigs at the last minute.