Monday, September 8, 2008

Spanish Cod Soup With Spinach, Chick-Peas, and Parsley

Spanish Cod Soup With Spinach, Chick-Peas, and Parsley (James Peterson, Simply Soups)

Note: You can make everything in advance, except poaching the fish. Do that step right before you serve the soup.

fish stock or chicken stock or water (about 4-6 cups)
2 pounds cod, grouper, or other fish good for poaching
1 cup dry chick peas, soaked overnight
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium sized tomatoes, seeded, peeled, and chopped, or 1-1/2 cups canned tomatoes, drained seeded and chopped
1 large bunch of spinach, stems removed, large leaves torn in half--enough to make 2 cups of tightly packed spinach
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Drain the chick peas and combine them with enough fish stock or chicken stock or water to cover them. Bring to a simmer, then cover them and cook gently until they are soft enough to smash a few against the side of the pan. Add more stock or water as the chick peas cook, if necessary--don't let them get dry. Set aside when done.

Heat the olive oil and saute the almonds over medium heat for 5 minutes. Don't let them burn. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes more. Then add the tomatoes, spinach, and parsley and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the chick peas to the mixture. Set aside.

Just before serving, put the pieces of fish into a large pan with sides, so that the fish are in a single layer. Add enough cold water (or fish stock) just to barely cover the fish. Bring the water to a simmer over medium high heat, then turn it down to low heat. Let the fish poach until done at about 4 minutes per inch thickness. When done, remove the fish to a heated platter.

Pour the poaching liquid from the fish into the chick-pea mixture and season well. Divide the fish into serving bowls, then ladle the hot soup over it. Serve with hot crusty bread.

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