This recipe is not for the faint of heart. If you’re squeamish about handling fish heads and fins, you may want to abstain. With that said, this is a fun and hands-on meal to make. I’ve often seen the least likely of dinner guests get excited about participating in the process, stewing fish heads then grinding them into a thick broth that makes a hearty and delicious soup and embraces fin-to-tail cuisine.
Fish soup is a specialty of Marseille, but is served around the country, with variations being embraced as far as Normandy and Brittany. Work with your fishmonger to put together a selection of seasonal fish that will make a delicious—and show stopping—fish soup. Good fish to include in the soup are red mullet, bream, and scorpion fish. Make sure to ask that the vendor guts and fillets the fish for you—that’s tricky work! This soup is traditionally served with croutons that are topped with Rouille and then sprinkled with grated Gruyère cheese.
Place carrots, potatoes, leek, tomatoes, and onion in a large stockpot and cover with water. Season with a dash of salt and pepper. Bring water to boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Cut fish fillets into uniform-sized pieces, about
Remove stockpot from heat and use a slotted spoon to extract large pieces of fish frames from the broth; these can either be discarded or saved to make a lighter fish broth later. Transfer the boneless broth in batches to a hand mill and mill the stock into a large soup pot. Once all the stock has been liquefied, reheat in soup pot and serve hot with croutons, rouille, and grated Gruyère.
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