Where do you buy fish? A tricky thing, in Minnesota, at least to find consistently fresh choices - I've bought nice fillets and some real stinkers from every major outlet in the Twin Cities.
If you're willing to shop online, I can say that I've been extremely pleased with the sustainably caught king salmon and halibut I've bought from VitalChoice Wild Seafood. This was our first batch of halibut and I could have eaten all the pieces in one week!
But I didn't. Two 6-oz. fillets went into the Quick Coconut Curry with Halibut & Broccoli that I posted last week at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine. Heavenly, that dish, I'm on a big coconut milk kick as a result.
A few days later, two more fillets found their way into this fish soup, thick and rich with tomatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs. You might notice that this is the first recipe I've posted in awhile calling for canned tomatoes instead of fresh. I felt a little sad about it, until I tasted the tomatoes and remembered that good-quality canned tomatoes are fabulous too. Go for a good Italian brand - the ripe, meaty Romas are what gives the soup its beautiful color and texture.
Fish Soup with Tomatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil, more for drizzling
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 8-oz. bottle clam juice
1 24-oz. can whole Italian tomatoes
2 6-oz. fillets halibut or other firm, white fish, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 c. chopped Italian parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
toasted baguette slices
Heat a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add olive oil, then onion, and slowly saute onion until softened but not browned, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium. Add white wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Add clam juice. Crush tomatoes by hand into the soup, adding the remaining juices. Turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in fish and parsley and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes, until fish is just cooked through. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately, ladled over toasted bread, and drizzled with a little olive oil.