This soup, fishy-ssoise if you will, tastes utterly luxurious. It is very quick and simple to prepare, but if you have time to let the vegetables sweat a while, it will taste even better. It is adapted from several Delia Smith recipes. I really admire the way she constantly updates her repertoire, but ensures her recipes are always reliable. This idea comes from her Complete Cookery Course, published in the 1980s. In those days her portions were smaller than we ate at my house, but I have made them very generous here. This makes more than enough for three people, even as a main course with bread on the side and a pudding afterwards. It’s also great served cold – as Vichyssoise often is – the next day, but don’t keep it longer than that.
fish, leek and potato soup
(serves 3 generously)
3 large leeks, cleaned and chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
20 gr butter
200 gr shelled and cleaned scallops, prawns or mussels, or white filleted fish
1 fish or vegetable stock cube
50 ml creme fraiche
2 egg yolks
leaves from a handful parsley, finely chopped
handful chives, chopped
half a lemon
salt and pepper
Sweat the onion, leek and potato in the butter over a very low heat for about 20 minutes.
Add about 1.2 litres of water to cover. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for an hour.
Add the stock cube and reduce to a puree with a hand blender. Sieve it if you want it to be extra smooth.
Now add the fish or seafood. Scallops would be the most delicious, but other things – possibly some smoked haddock – work well too. With the lid off, poach whatever you have chosen in the soup, which should be barely simmering. Scallops will take seconds to cook, a thick piece of cod about five minutes.
Take the fish or seafood out of the pan as soon as it is cooked. Put into the bowl(s) you are serving the soup in, breaking it into bite-sized pieces with a fork as necessary.
Add the parsley and switch off the heat. Quickly whisk the yolks with a fork in a bowl and stir in the creme fraiche. Add a ladleful of hot soup. Pour the mixture into the pan, stirring all the time to avoid the yolks scrambling.
Season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with chopped chives and serve with some good bread.