Our Austrian friend Annemarie of s/y Onyx taught me this recipe while we were wintering-over in Portugal in 2007-2008. I first tasted this delicious soup at a cooking competition organized by participants of the ARC Europe Rally after completing our transatlantic voyage.
Each boat’s galley produced a dish to be judged and then shared. David was one of the two judges, so I opted out of the competition. One of the recipes that stood out for me that night was a fish soup made by Annemarie.
With several months ahead of us in Lagos, a port with a daily fish market, I was eager to learn how she made it. Since it is also a favorite of her husband Peter, we spent several memorable evenings aboard Onyx eating what became known as her “award winning” fish soup. She learned to make it while cruising in Turkey. I have since made it in my own galley with very good results. The soup is great with frozen ingredients and exceptional with fresh fish and vegetables. With her permission, I offer the recipe that follows with my highest recommendation. Enjoy!
4-6 small to medium fish fillets (any mild, whitefish will do, either fresh or flash frozen), cut into pieces
salt and pepper to taste
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 T olive oil
2 cups mixed vegetables, chopped (fresh or frozen, cut into small chunks):
scallion, leek or onion
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups of broth (fish, vegetable or mixed)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp juniper berries
1 cup white wine
pinch of saffron
ground chili pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Squeeze lemon juice over the fish fillets, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and set aside. In a medium to large pot, sauté garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about one minute. Add the chopped vegetables and sauté until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add broth and bay leaves and bring to a simmer, and then add wine and juniper berries and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add fish fillets, saffron and ground chili pepper and poach gently for about five minutes until the fish turns white and is just cooked through. Be careful not to overcook the fish.
Garnish with fresh parsley (chopped) if available and serve with a green salad and a hearty, fresh bread.