My comfort food of choice varies from day to day really. One day, my comfort food could be a super yummy salad, the next it could be a spicy noodle soup. Last week all I wanted in the comfort food department was a Nutella Truffle! (Actually, that one would work any time.)
And today, comfort food is this Smoky Tomato Fish Stew — and guess what? It’s rich, hearty, light, and healthy — all at the same time. This fish stew also happens to be exactly what I want after an appetizer of Ahi Tuna Tartare!
Do you get it? Yup, we’re building up to another lovely weekend meal. Get on the phone and make plans with a friend or two!
And dessert to cap off the meal is coming this Friday!
What’s your favorite comfort food? That is, what is it today?
Serves 4 to 6
Total Prep and Cooking Time: about 1 hour
Olive oil for the pan
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 cup thinly sliced brown onion
4 whole medium-sized garlic gloves, stems removed and sliced thinly
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped, fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1 cup corn kernels (use frozen, thawed corn if corn is not at the peak of its season)
1 cup roasted red pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 small-medium peppers)
2 cups crushed tomatoes (I like San Marzano)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup packed spinach leaves
1/2-pound fresh Halibut fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2-pound Black Cod fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Smoked sea salt, sugar and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Coat the bottom of a medium-large soup pot with olive oil, and place it over low-medium heat. Add the paprika and let it cook until it begins to sizzle, about 4 minutes.
Add the onion and turn the heat up to medium. Let the onion cook for about 5 minutes and then add the garlic. Continue to cook until the onions are very soft, about 5 more minutes. Stir in the rosemary and thyme and let it cook until it’s very aromatic, about 30 seconds. (It’s quite beautiful at this point — look!)
Deglaze the pan with the tomatoes, stock and wine. Add the cayenne, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the spinach, fish and lemon juice, and cook just until the fish is cooked, about 5 minutes.
Season generously to taste with smoked sea salt, sugar and freshly ground black pepper.
Up to 1 day and at least 1 hour ahead: Make the soup up to the point of adding the fish. (Let it cool, and store it in the refrigerator in the pot — when you’re ready to continue the following day, slowly bring it to a strong simmer before adding the fish.)
About 10 minutes ahead: Add the fish and remaining ingredients, and season.
I use frozen, thawed corn for this, this time of year. I you make this in the summer, definitely use fresh!
You can use regular sea salt — however, I love the added smokiness from the smoked sea salt!