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Light Fish and Potato Soup

Light Fish and Potato Soup

Serves: 6

Total Time: 


4 cloves garlic
1 large egg plus 3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Fish Soup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 Vidalia onion, diced
1 bulb fennel, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
10 springs fresh thyme
4 (1-inch) strips orange zest
2 fresh bay leaves
Pinch red pepper flakes
4 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 fingerling potatoes
6 (4-ounce) Virginia Black Bass fillets (see note)
6 slices French bread, toasted, for serving


To make the aioli: Combine the garlic, egg, egg yolks and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse to combine and then, with the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture is smooth and thick. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the fish soup: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Stir in the thyme, orange zest, bay leaves and red pepper flakes, followed by the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper.

Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a small saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and boil until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and let cool. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice into rounds 1/2 inch thick.

When ready to serve, bring the broth mixture to a low simmer over medium-low heat. Add the fish and cooked potatoes and cook gently just until the fish has cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Divide the soup between six bowls, anchoring each bowl with a fillet. Serve immediately with the toasted bread and aioli.


Per serving, fish soup: 253 calories (percent of calories from fat, 25), 31 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 7 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 77 milligrams cholesterol, 470 milligrams sodium.

Per 1-tablespoon serving of aioli: 107 calories (percent of calories from fat, 93), 1 gram protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, 11 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 71 milligrams cholesterol, 8 milligrams sodium.

About the recipe

"I think a lot of people are scared of preparing fish at home," Chef Anne Quatrano said. This dish makes it easy. Quatrano picked the recipe for its ease and versatility. Her pick is a Virginia black bass, but the recipe also works with snapper, grouper, shrimp or shellfish. Pair this savory meal-in-a-bowl with a crusty baguette and a green salad and dinner is done. For another burst of flavor, put a crouton on top of each dish and top it with a garlic aioli.

Use chicken stock instead of fish stock."First, people have it," said Quatrano."Second, it gives the broth a richness. And instead of making your house smell like fish, you've got an aromatic broth going." Add potatoes after they've been cooked. "Cooking them in the broth will make it cloudy. I'd prefer fingerlings, cooked in their skins, then cut into rounds, maybe a half-inch thick." To save even more time, make the bulk of the recipe the night before."Then, warm the broth with the potatoes and vegetables, poach your fish and you're ready." The orange zest gives the dish a bit of Mediterranean tang, but lemon zest would work as well.

Recipe courtesy of Anne Quatrano.