Fish Stew with Quinoa
I’m a one pot meal kind of girl, well I’ll use two maybe. Cooking is one of my greatest creative outlets, photographing my food, another, but I like the effortless cooking, throw it in the pot and go. These are my best meals, a reason why there are so many pasta posts on this blog. I obviously go beyond the pot, using a few pans, the oven on occasion and now that I own a grill, that is going to be another step. My heart belongs in the pot though.
Fish stews and fish soups are wonderful, I’ve never made one, but I love a bisque, Charleston’s She-Crab soup, bouillabaisse and a zuppa di pesce. I figured that I would give stew a shot with the inspiration from a recipe from the New York Times from the Recipes for Health section. I made some adjustments to the recipe, added a few ingredients, took a few away, only read the list of ingredients and then skipped the process. I figured that our processes couldn’t be that different, throw it in, simmer.
I used frozen fish for this dish, fresh would be the best and you could also mix the fish up, add a few shrimp, mussels (in another season) crab, anything. The fish I used was whiting, which I had never used before, it was good, very neutral.
Fish Stew with Quinoa
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 (15-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
- 1 pound small new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
- 4 small zuccini or 2 large, sliced in half moons
- A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf, a couple of sprigs of thyme and parsley, tied together with a string
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds fish (any white fish will be good for this)
- Salt, to taste
- 2 cups quinoa
- 1 shallot diced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot and add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about five minutes. Add the zucchini, cook, stirring, until the zucchini is tender, and then add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit, about 10 to 15 minutes. Fill the tomato cans with water, add to the pot with potatoes and the bouquet garni. Bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, cover partially and simmer 30 minutes. Taste, adjust salt and add pepper to taste. Remove the bouquet garni. (This can be done a day in advance.)
In the meantime, make the quinoa. In a small pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add shallots and when they are translucent add the quinoa. Toast for a minute with the shallots and olive oil. Add 4 cups of water, raise the heat to high and let the water come to a boil, stirring occasionally. When the water has started to boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. The quinoa should only take about 15 minutes to cook.
Season the fish with salt and pepper, and stir into the soup. The soup should not be boiling. Simmer five to 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillets) or just until it flakes easily when poked. Remove from the heat, toss in chopped parsley and serve over quinoa.