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guest recipe: classic fish soup from northern Spain


This recipe is one that Nate cooks for us, so I asked him to share it, hence the “guest recipe” title. It fits in well with our current diet, with the exception that we love to sop up all the yummy broth with crusty bread. It is a fish and swiss chard soup from the Galicia region of northern Spain, and we began making the dish after returning from Spain in 2009. As with my Parisian pork chop recipe, I added some pics at the end to get you in the mood. Take it away, Nate!

The recipe calls for monkfish, which is a meaty, strong tasting fish and is often rather expensive.  We tried making it with monkfish once; it was very good, but we have since switched to mahi mahi, tilapia, or haddock (or whatever else seems to be both sustainably caught and not prohibitively expensive).  So, here it goes:

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Galician fish stew (aka “rape con grelos”)
serves 4

olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
4 cups fish stock
salt and black pepper
2 lbs firm white fish cut into 2″ pieces
1 lb swiss chard, tougher stems removed, cut into fine strips
course bread, cut into 1″ thick slices, drizzled with olive oil, and grilled or toasted

In a wide, high-sided saucepan or dutch oven (that has a lid), warm enough olive oil to coat the pan in a thin film over medium heat.  Add the chopped onions and minced garlic and saute for 3 or 4 minutes until softened (keep the heat low enough so that the garlic doesn’t brown, you don’t want any caramelization). Add the bay leaf and red pepper flakes (to taste – I use about a 1/2 teaspoon and it’s not too hot).  Saute another 8 to 10 minutes until the onions and garlic are tender (don’t brown them!). Add the fish stock, season with salt and pepper, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add the fish and swiss chard.  Cover and turn the heat to medium-high and simmer until the fish is cooked (about 5 minutes).

Transfer to warmed, wide bowls and serve accompanied with the grilled/toasted bread slices. Go eat it.

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