Filets de Sole Bonne Femme


  • 2 sole (about 1 pound each)
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely-chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons finely-chopped mushrooms
  • ¼ pint dry white wine
  • fish stock (made from fish trimmings)
  • 1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, thyme, 4 sprigs parsley)
  • 12 button mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • flour
  • butter


Ask your fishmonger to fillet sole; keep heads, bones and trimmings for stock. Season fillets generously with salt and freshly-ground black pepper and put them in the bottom of a buttered earthenware baking dish. Sprinkle with finely-chopped shallots and mushrooms and add pint dry white wine and just enough fish stock to cover fish. Add bouquet garni; bring to the boil; cover with a buttered paper and bake in a moderate oven (375°F. Mark 4) for 10 minutes. Sauté mushroom caps in butter and lemon juice until tender.

Arrange poached fillets on a heated serving dish; put fish liquor into a small saucepan; add remaining dry white wine and reduce over a brisk flame to two-thirds of the original quantity. Thicken the sauce if necessary with a beurre manié (made by kneading equal quantities of butter and flour to a smooth paste). Bring sauce to the boil and cook until it has the consistency of cream.

Place 3 mushroom caps on each portion of sole; pour sauce over and glaze for a minute or two under grill before serving.