I made you soup.
I did that because it's cold outside and I don't like the cold very much unless I'm snuggled under a thousand blankets and also because half the world seems to be sick and we have a thing in our culture where we feed sick people hot liquids.
Why? Why not kale and sweet potatoes? Orange peel? Green tea mixed with yogurt and lentils?
This soup is really delicious. It's cheap to make, too! You could of course go nuts with various seafoods, but I find that the flavor from any old white fish (tilapia, cod, catfish....), and if you make your own seafood stock, like we did yesterday, this is SO delicious.
Here's what you need:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large baking potato
- 1 large carrot or 1 handful baby carrots
- ½ small onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 jalapeno or red chili pepper
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels (or scraped from 1 ear of corn)
- 4 - 6 cups seafood or chicken stock
- 10 oz white fish, frozen or fresh
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- tomato, for garnish (optional)
The ingredients for this are so standard, but the combo of everything together, and the thyme....yum. I used 2 frozen fish filets for this, and I loved the amount of fish in the end of the dish. You could use a bit more, though, if you want the fish to be more pronounced.
First, start the veggies. Scrub and peel the potato.
Then, cut the potato in half, and cut each half into planks - ½ inch or a little less thick.
Cut each of the planks into strips...
....and cut the strips into cubes. We will dice everything else finely, but the potato cubes will be a bit larger since they'll fall apart and add to the starchiness of the soup as the vegetables cook.
Now, cut the carrots into little bits! I cut baby carrots into quarters, then finely chopped the matchsticks.
Now, add the potato and carrot to a large soup pot with the olive oil. Turn the heat to medium. I start the veggies in a cold pot to 1. let them warm through gradually and 2. give me more time to cut up the other veggies.
While the potatoes and carrots are warming up, finely chop the onion. Then cut the celery stalk into thin strips...
...and cut the strips into little bits.
Finely chop the chili pepper, too! I used three frozen half peppers that my grandparents gave me in a massive quantity. They're so handy to have around!
Once the potato and carrot have started to soften, add the remaining veggies to the pot with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir them around for 5 minutes until they start to soften too.
Then, add the frozen corn and the thyme. No need to chop it, just strip the leave from the stem into the pot with your fingers and save the stems for more stock!
When the corn is partially thawed and the veggies are sizzling, after about 3 more minutes, add the stock to the pot. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, finely dice the tomatoes and any extra thyme (or other herbs) you'd like to use to top the soup!
After 15 minutes, poke one of the potato cubes with a fork. If it's tender, we'll move on! To the cooked veggies and broth, add the fish - frozen is just fine.
Increase the heat to medium high, and let the fish cook in the soup for about 7 minutes until cooked though, then use a spoon to break the fish up in the soup. It'll break up naturally, so don't worry too much about this part! Mine fell part easily as I stirred the soup.
While the fish is cooking, grab the cornstarch.
Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with ¼ cup of water until it's completely dissolved.
When the fish is cooked through, add the cornstarch mixture and the heavy cream to the soup. Bring it BACK to a boil to allow the cornstarch to thicken the soup.
Then, taste it! Add salt or pepper to your taste.
Now, this is ready to go. If you're not ready to eat the soup can sit on the stove for up to 4 hours: just reheat when you're ready to eat. Or, you can keep it in the fridge in the pot for a few days! I topped mine with tomatoes, fresh parsley, and extra thyme leaves.
Enjoy this one, friends. It's so cozy and comforting and full of veggies. You'll love it!