Bullinada (Catalan Fish Soup)
Bullinada is a delicate, white fish soup, swirled with a garlic mayonnaise. This is Claudia Roden's take on the Catalan classic.
From the book
The Catalan bullinada is like the bourride of the French Riviera and the gazpachuelo of Malaga – a fish soup with garlic mayonnaise stirred in. It has a mysterious delicate flavour and beautiful warm colour. It is sometimes made with tiny baby squid alone, or a mix of prawns and shellfish. I make it with white fish alone for friends who cannot eat shellfish. Use hake, monkfish or cod cheeks. You can make much of it in advance and finish the soup a few minutes before you are ready to eat.
|1||large onion, chopped|
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|8||garlic cloves: 6 finely chopped and 2 crushed|
|A good pinch of||saffron threads|
|2 litres||fish stock (use 3 fish stockpots)|
|100ml||dry white wine|
|800g||new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5cm slices|
|1 tsp||fennel seeds|
|strips of peel from ½ orange|
|800g||skinless fish fillets, such as hake or monkfish|
|200ml||good-quality bought mayonnaise|
|juice of ½ lemon|
|Good pinch of||chilli pepper, plus extra to serve|
|4 tbsp||chopped flat-leaf parsley|
|salt and black pepper|
In a wide pan, fry the onion in the oil over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the chopped garlic and stir for 2 minutes until it just begins to colour.
Stir in the saffron and pour in the fish stock and the wine, then put in the potatoes, fennel seeds and orange peel and season with salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, for 20–25 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Ten minutes before you are ready to serve, remove the orange peel and put in the fish. Cook, covered, over low heat for 4–10 minutes, depending on the fish and the thickness of the fillets, until the fish becomes opaque and the flesh begins to flake when you cut into it with a pointed knife. Break the fillets into pieces.
In a jug, beat the mayonnaise with the lemon juice, the crushed garlic and a pinch of chilli.
Just before serving, add a ladleful or two of the hot stock into the mayonnaise mixture and beat it in, then gently stir into the simmering soup. Heat through but do not let it boil or the mayonnaise will curdle. Serve sprinkled with parsley and pass round some chilli for anyone who would like to add more.