Neapolitan Hoki Fish Soup with Fennel
This unusual fish soup recipe features hoki, which is a member of the hake family. Blue hake, whiptail hake, blue grenadiers, and New Zealand whiting are alternative names for this fish, which has a dense white flesh. This fish does not keep well so it is usually only available frozen. You can use it any recipe where you would use cod or hake. Its dense flesh means that this fish is good for grilling or sautéing and you can also steam or bake it.
The slightly sweet, mild flavor of hoki means it goes well with a wide range of other ingredients. Hoki is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which means it is good for you. If you cannot find hoki, you can use pollack or cod in this easy fish soup recipe instead. The result will be pretty much identical so just use whichever you can get.
As well as hoki, the following fish soup recipe calls for mussels. You need to cook these before adding them to the soup. Tap the shells and discard any opened ones. Put half a cup of water or stock in a stockpot and bring it to a boil. Add the mussels and steam them with the lid on for about ten minutes. Discard any whose shells do not open after this time. You can cook, shell, and refrigerate mussels up to twenty four hours before using them in recipes. Since you add these mussels just before serving, you can leave them out for anyone who is not keen on them. You only need a handful of mussels for this recipe so you will have some left over.
- 1 lb thawed hoki filets
- Handful of cooked mussels in their shells
- 1 pint fish stock
- 1 lb Napolitana pasta sauce (the tomato and basil variety)
- 1 finely sliced fennel bulb
- 2 finely sliced zucchini
- ½ teaspoon chili paste
- Handful torn basil leaves
- Combine the stock, chili paste and pasta sauce in a pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and fennel. Simmer for 2 more minutes.
- Cut the fish filets into 1 ½ inch pieces and add them to the soup. Poach for a few minutes or until it is cooked. Do not stir too vigorously or the hoki will break up.
- Stir in the mussels and adjust the seasoning.
- Scatter the basil on top and serve.
This richly flavored hoki and mussel soup is easy to make and you can switch any firm-fleshed fish for the hoki. The fennel and zucchini add nutrients, although you could switch these for other vegetables if you prefer. The tomato and basil sauce gives the soup a good base as well as a nice, reddish color. This simple soup recipe does not call for many ingredients but the flavor is well balanced and hearty. If you are looking for the best easy fish recipes this one is definitely worth making. Once you have prepared the ingredients, the soup itself will be ready is under ten minutes, which is good news if you want something both fast and easy.
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