Sopa De Rape (Monkfish Stew)


1 1/4 pounds (about 600- 700 g) monkfish filets, cut into chunks. If you are using whole monkfish
1 8 vine ripe tomatoes (peeled and seeded) or large can whole peeled tomatoes. (28
4 cups fish stock
4 cups water
several slices ciabatta bread or baguette (see photo to get an idea of how much)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed but still whole
1 pinch of saffron


Slowly saute the onions and tomatoes in about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. You want to get the onions nice and soft and the mixture should be all mushy and smelling great by the time you're finished cooking it!
In a large pot, put the water, fish stock and saffron and start to heat.
In a frying pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and toast the slices of bread, the cloves of garlic and the almonds. When the bread is golden on both sides, add the parsley sprigs and toast those for 30 seconds or so. Remove from heat.
Using either a mortar and pestle or a food processor, make the picada mixture (the toasted bread, garlic, almonds and parsley) into a paste. Set aside.
When your tomatoes and onions are cooked, add them to the simmering saffron fish stock liquid.
Add the fish to the liquid and continue simmering for 15 minutes. At this point I used an immersion blender to purée everything. Partly because one of my children only has 4.5 teeth and partly because Nico hates tomatoes in all recognizable forms and it is necessary to disguise all evidence of their former red roundness before they hit our table (*see below). You do not have to puree the soup if you don't want to- it is delicious either way.
Add the picada paste to the soup a few minutes before it is finished (this will add flavor as well as thicken it).
Add salt and pepper to taste, serve, slurp and enjoy!

Here is an adaptation of the recipe (pictured above) for Sopa de Rape (monkfish soup). This is a very typical soup in Spain with many variations. Often it contains a sofrito (sofregit in Catalan) base of tomatoes and onions; saffron; and a picada made from parsley, toasted almonds, garlic and toasted bread. If you can’t find monkfish, you could also use any other firm-fleshed white fish such as mahi mahi or red snapper. It's the perfect alternative to a hearty lobster bisque on a chilly winter night!




Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 12:27pm


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