On Saturday, the markets at the Collingwood Childrens Farm were soaked in rain, the beautiful torrents sated the earth around markets stalls while geese, chickens and ducks danced in the puddles left behind. Their delight distracted the vendors from dripping tarpaulins and paths heavy with mud and customers navigated the pits, puddles and sludge.
By the end of the day, the cool wet summer day that was dressed in moments of sunshine, I was left damp and chilled to my bones. It drove me to buy fish bones and make a soup. The unseasonal cold persuaded me to stop, make a stock, fill it with vegetables and refuel for the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Coral trout soup
(you can use different fish bones – when buying fish at the market, choose a whole one and ask the fishmonger to fillet it for you. Take the fish bones home as well as the fillets and make this soup with the bones.)
50ml olive oil
Bones and head of 1 of coral trout
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 medium sized onion, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, washed and roughly chopped
1 cup of white wine
Water to cover – this is about 6-8 cups
In a large pot, sauté the onion, garlic and leek in the olive oil. Don’t allow it to colour just to soften. Add the carrots and stir through, cooking it altogether for about 3 minutes. Pour in the white wine and reduce the liquid by half.
Next comes the fun part, place all the fish bones in the reduced liquid and cover everything with water. Bring it all to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
When it comes time to strain the soup; place a clean tea towel over the colander and the colander in a large bowl to catch the liquid.
Pour everything directly onto the tea towel and it will strain through into the bowl leaving a lovely broth.
The broth is beautiful on it’s own with a piece of good bread or put it back in a saucepan and cook fish pieces and some delicate vegetables, like thinly sliced carrot, peas or snowpeas.