Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Feb 10, 2006 at 10:47am

It struck me how young, and trim, Fugaise Chef Don Saunders was last night (here with Ana and Rudy). How does he do it, working so hard, with all that fabulous food? Man, I do not feel young and trim this morning, whew. I am t..i..r..e..d. Oh it was worth it, definitely, I had such a blast last night. But I stayed up until 2 a.m. documenting it all for the blog. Two a.m.? I can’t do that! I am WAY too old for such behavior. And it takes its toll on me, I just can’t bounce back from a late night the way I used to be able to. Sigh. My feet are back on the ground today. Along with the bags under my eyes…

I’m thinking a nice piece of fish for dinner tonight. I have to haul Siggy Roo over to the groomer anyhow, makes it pretty simple to bop into Coastal Seafoods and pick up something nutritious. Oh, I know, fish soup. That sounds delicious. Slightly involved, but I can do the broth portion ahead. It’s a Gourmet Cookbook recipe and it rocks (I’ll post it below, in comments)! A movie, and home for fish soup, that’ll get me back on track. Little walk. Little bath. Oh yeah, I’ll be good as new.

Oh my, I am tired this afternoon, whew. Getting through, however, got Sigs to the groomer, visited Coastal Seafoods and picked up some halibut and grouper, whipped through Byerly’s to pick up a few staples, then made my way back here to start the soup. And to think through a little brunch for tomorrow – Rishia Zimmern and baby Noah are coming to visit us, yay!

So this soup, Fish Soup with Bread and Rouille. I’ve made it several times, and it is truly delicious, a big favorite in this household. From Gourmet Cookbook: This is one of the best fish soups we’ve ever had. It’s not at all aggressive; rather, it’s light and brothy, and it takes a faintly smoky turn from the grilled bread used to make its croutes. The secret to the croutes, by the way, is a simple one. After the bread is grilled (use a good sourdough), tear it into rough pieces, leaving them craggy, like a coastline. When you bake them, the edges get beautifully crisp, and they are absolutely delicious in the soup. The rusty red sauce called rouille, which is both stirred into the soup and served as a condiment, makes the soup come alive. This recipe is from Melissa Kelly, the chef-owner of Primo, in Rockland, Maine. There are basically three recipes within this one, none of them complicated – the broth, the croute, and the rouille. The broth and rouille can be made the day ahead to save some time. Nathan actually loves this soup, even though he’s not a big fish eater, because the broth is so good, especially with the bread. Make this on a weekend day, active time is listed at 1.75 hours, start to finish 3.5 hours. It’s definitely worth it.

I bowed out of the movie, so John’s going without me. When he gets back we’ll have the soup, and in the interim, once I have the broth finished, I may slide into the bedroom for a little nap. Or not. Now that I see what time it is, that would be pretty stupid. Guess I’ll hold out for an early bedtime…

Soup = lovely. Bed = now.

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  1. By Fred Flinstone on February 13, 2006 at 1:17PM

    You are correct. You are too old to stay up that late.

  2. By Stephanie on February 10, 2006 at 6:27PM

    Makes about 2 cups

    Rouille (the French word for “rust,” pronounced “rooee”) is a spicy-hot sauce made from garlic, chiles, fresh bread crumbs, and olive oil. Testament to the magic of garlic, it is used as a condiment for bouillabaisse and other fish stews and soups. The bread crumbs thicken the sauce.

    2 red bell peppers
    4 garlic cloves, peeled
    1 tsp. salt
    1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
    ¾ c. fine fresh white bread crumbs, preferably brioche or challah
    2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

    Lay bell peppers on grates of two gas burners and turn flames on high. Roast, turning with tongs, until skins are blackened, 8 to 12 minutes. (Or broil on rack of a broiler pan about 2 inches from heat, turning, until skins are blackened, 8 to 12 minutes.) Transfer peppers to a bowl, cover, and let steam for 20 minutes. Pull stems and seeds out of peppers and discard. Tear open and lay the pepper flat on a cutting board, and scrape off the blackened skin. In the bowl of a food processor, puree the garlic and jalapeno. Add the bell peppers and bread crumbs and puree again. With motor running, slowly add oil, then lemon juice and pepper, blending until very smooth (rouille will look like an orange-pink mayonnaise). Rouille can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature before using. Also makes a delicious dip for crackers and vegetables.

  3. By Stephanie on February 10, 2006 at 6:26PM

    Fish Soup with Bread and Rouille
    Adapted from Gourmet Cookbook
    Serves 6

    1 large leek, washed carefully, green part coarsely chopped; white part cut into 1/4-inch pieces and set aside
    3 Tbsp. olive oil
    1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
    2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
    2 carrots, coarsely chopped
    3 garlic cloves, smashed
    ¼ tsp. crumbled saffron threads
    2 bay leaves
    1 tsp. red pepper flakes
    1 lb. can diced or crushed tomatoes
    2 c. dry white wine
    6 c. clam juice
    1-1 lb. unsliced loaf sour dough bread
    2 Tbsp. olive oil
    2 Tbsp. butter
    1 lb. skinned white fish fillets, such as halibut, snapper, and/or bass, cut into 1-inch cubes
    1 tsp. salt
    Rouille (recipe follows)
    Garnish: 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano; 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    Make the broth:
    Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add leek greens, onion, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add saffron, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by about half, about 30 minutes. Stir in clam juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, prepare the croutes:
    Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat until hot (or, preheat an outdoor grill). Cut bread into three equal pieces and brush each piece all over with 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Grill, turning, until grill marks appear on all sides. Tear bread into rough 2-inch pieces and spread on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp outside but still soft inside, about 10 minutes. Cool croutes.

    Finish the soup:
    Pour broth through a colander into a large bowl; discard solids. Heat butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until foam subsides. Add white part of leek and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add fish, hot broth, and salt and bring to a simmer (fish will be cooked through at this point). Remove from heat and stir in ½ c. rouille. Put croutes in six soup plates and ladle soup over. Sprinkle with oregano and parsley and serve remaining rouille on the side.