Robust, wholesome, herbaceous and piquant and acidic, even texturally compelling. Boldly serve this one with a glass of red (my selection). Sucking out the shrimp brains is optional but awesome.
Whitefish and Shrimp Soup with Tomato, Basil, and Leek
big splash good olive oil
Simmer over very low heat:
1 leek, chopped (D. Lebovitz on how to clean and prep the beasties)
3-4 cloves sliced garlic
several healthy shakes red pepper flakes, or dried chilis of some variety (optional, I suppose)
big handful fresh basil leaves, chopped roughly, plus a bit slivered for garnish
S&P to taste
Add and simmer a spell:
1 can tomatoes in whatever form (although I recently read that buying them enteros is much better as the cut up ones likely come from those damaged in the factory. Er, farm. … someone’s been reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma.)
1/2 – 1c stock of whatever variety. I’ve used veggie and seafood. Add more or less depending on consistency desired
zest of half a lemon
4 minutes before ready to munch, add:
a variety of seafood: I’ve previously used some combination of one small pescadilla (took it off the bones, tossed bones -and head!- in to bubble with the liquids), several uncooked shell-on langostinos/gambas, a few mussels, and a scant handful teeny clams. Squid would be lovely here. Seafood cooks very quickly; don’t be tempted to overdo it!
Garnish with basil slivers and serve with crusty bread or rice – I used brown jasmine.