Mediterranean Fish Soup with Quick Aïoli
Gourmet Soups, Stews, & Bisques
Our fragrant, saffron-scented soup is nice and garlicky. It will transport you to southern France with your first spoonful. We take a shortcut for the aïoli garnish, using a ready-made mayonnaise. Stir it into the soup before serving.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, divided
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus a few leaves for a garnish
2 pounds firm, white-fleshed fish cut in 1-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large cloves garlic, blanched in boiling water for 5 minutes and blotted dry
1/2 cup quality prepared mayonnaise
8 thin slices French bread, lightly toasted
To make the soup: Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until it is wilted, then stir in the garlic.
Add half of the saffron to the diluted Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold® or Fumet de Poisson Gold®, and pour the mixture into the pan along with the white wine. Stir in the tomato paste and thyme leaves. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring the soup to a boil, then adjust the heat back to medium. Add the potato cubes, and cook until almost tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the parsley and fish and cook until the fish is opaque, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the aïoli: In a small bowl, dissolve remaining saffron in 1 tablespoon of the hot soup. Combine the blanched garlic, dissolved saffron and broth, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an electric blender, and purée until smooth. Add the mayonnaise and salt to taste.
Ladle the soup into large, shallow bowls. Add 2 toasts to each bowl and top each with a spoonful of aïoli. Garnish with parsley leaves. Pass the remaining aïoli at the table.
Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Rosé.