Salmon Soup with Saffron
   Servings: 8
  • 4 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped and washed throughly
  • 1 large fennel bulb, stalks discarded, reserving fronds for garnish, and bulb chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 large celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp herbs
  • 2 California bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 5 lbs salmon, perch, or cod (preferably with heads), cleaned and rinsed well
  • 4 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 strips fresh orange zest, cut into 1 inch
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 baguette, cut into 3/4 of an inch-thick slices
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Saffron threads, crumbled
  1. Cook leeks, fennel bulb, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil with herbs, bay leaves, cayenne, saffron, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in an 8-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened for about 10 minutes. (Rouille)
  2. While vegetable mixture cooks, cut fish crosswise into 2- to 3-inch lengths.
  3. Add tomatoes, wine, and zest to vegetable mixture and bring to a boil, then boil 30 seconds. Add fish, water, and tomato paste and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until fish completely falls apart for about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
  5. Arrange baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and thoroughly dried for about 20 minutes.
  6. Force soup through food mill into a large heavy pot, discarding solids. Reheat soup over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  7. Pour the Rouille on croutons and put 1 in bottom of each soup bowl. Pour soup around croutons. Serve hot.