David's Recipe for Fish Bisque

Based on a recipe for shrimp bisque by a Frenchwoman of the sort who have given "cuisine ménagère" a bad name. I think that I have improved it considerably.

Soup, pseudo-French

  • 6 skinless filets of mackerel or similar fish
  • 1-1/2 quarts boiling water
  • 3 soup spoons olive oil for sauteing
  • 3 soup spoons olive oil for roux
  • 3 heaping soup spoons flour for roux
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/4 coffee spoon salt
  • 1/2 coffee spoon ground hot red pepper, or less, depending on the pepper
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • 2 soup spoons tomato paste
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  1. In a cast iron pan or wok, saute the fish for 2 minutes on one side over a high flame, until it loses its translucency.
  2. Turn the fish and turn off the flame. The fish will continue to cook in the heat of the pan.
  3. In a separate pan, mix the flour and the remaining oil. Heat it for 1 minute over a high flame while stirring constantly.
  4. Very gradually add 2 cups of the boiling water to the flour mixture, still stirring constantly. This should take about 5 minutes.
  5. Mix the ground pepper, salt, thyme, and tomato paste into the flour mixture.
  6. Place one of the eggs in a blender with part of the remaining water, part of the wine, some of the fish (including the pan drippings), and some of the flour mixture.
  7. Blend thoroughly, starting on a low speed and gradually increasing.
  8. Place the blended soup into a saucepan and repeat the blending process with the remaining egg and some of the remaining ingredients.
  9. Place the second batch of blended soup in the saucepan.
  10. If you have any of the ingredients left, blend them also and place in the saucepan.
  11. Mix the soup in the saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes or until sufficiently hot, stirring occasionally.
  12. Serve immediately with thick slices of crusty bread. The recipes usually say something like "crusty French bread", but I don't even know what they mean by it.

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