Funny thing is, the day I made my test pot of this soup, I turned on the cooking channel (as I often do if I actually have time to watch TV) and all the chefs were making different versions of fish stew. Awesome. So I watched for a while. You know what I learned? I pretty much made exactly what every other person makes for fish stew. Well, at least I know I’m on the right track. And I do love how it came out. So here’s the recipe, in case you think at some point, “Hey. You know what I want? Fish stew.” Yeah… Maybe not. But here’s the recipe anyway. 🙂
1/3 of a Small Fennel Root (about 1/3C)
4 Small Carrots
1 Large Parsnip
5 Fresh Sage Leaves
2 TBSP Butter
4 Small Whiting Fillets
3 Medium Cod Fillets
Salt to taste
1. Lightly salt your Cod with kosher salt and press into Cod to sit as it thaws. Once it is thawed, cut it into chunks the size of the tip of your thumb. Set aside.
2. Cut the green leafy top and the root end off your leek. Slice the leek in half long-ways down the stem. Clean your leek out thoroughly. It will fall apart a bit, but hold it together as best you can while cleaning well. Remove excess water. Cut each half of the stalk in half again and chop into small shreds. Set aside.
3. Remove any stalks from the fennel. Wash well and remove any bad pieces on the outside of the root ball. Slice thin slices off of the bottom until you have what will chop into 1/3C. Shop very finely. Set aside.
4. Clean, peel, and penny your carrots and parsnips and set those aside as well.
5. Clean your sage leaves and chop super fine.
6. Heat a pot with 1 TBSP of butter until the butter just sizzles. Add your leeks and then your fennel. Salt lightly to wilt the leeks. Stir well and cook on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Add your finely chopped Sage Leaves. Stir periodically until the leeks start to get soft and glossy. Then add the parsnips and carrots. Stir. (You may add more butter here if needed.)
7. If you are using whiting that has been frozen, make sure it is partially thawed, but still solid enough to slide it off the skin. Slide the skin off all the whiting and set aside.
8. Once the veggies have started to soften, add water to the pot and deglase.
9. Add whiting once the water has gotten hot. Continue to cook and stir while you heat another pan. Add the remaining Butter to the hot pan and then add your Cod. Lightly toss the Cod until it is nearly cooked through. Add the Cod to your pot and let it finish cooking, stirring only lightly and rarely, if needed, to prevent burning. Soup is done as soon as Cod is cooked through. About 5-7 minutes.