Creamy seafood soup

I just love it when you have stuff sitting around in the freezer/fridge/pantry that needs to be used up, so you start experimenting, and the result is something as delicious as this evening's seafood soup. The base is the stock left over from making Moules à Marinière a while ago, so this recipe depends on that you have made that, strained the liquid and saved it in the freezer. If you have some other seafood-based stock (crayfish, lobster, shrimp) that would also work, I'm sure.

I feel kind of bad about the ridiculous amounts of cream that went into the soup, but the open carton had expired yesterday and needed to go into something, so it was either this or a desert (ok, desert is coming up in a later post). You can of course exchange the cream for a low fat equivalent. For the seafood part, we used shrimp and seithe, but feel free to play around. Just make sure to use a firm fish that won't fall apart when cooking, and please try to think of sustainability when choosing your fish! WWF (as in wildlife conservation, not wrestling!) has lists of which fish has healthy populations and can be eaten with a good conscience - for the US see here, in Swedish see here.

Hey, the soup kind of matches our kitchen cabinet doors!

Creamy seafood soup

1 small yellow onion
1 fennel
½ tbsp butter
3 dl blue mussel stock from this recipe
1 tbsp tomato puré
½ dl dry vermouth
2½ dl cream
Pinch of ancho chili powder
300 g saithe (coley)
750 g unpeeled shrimp (about 3 dl peeled)

Chop up the onion and fennel. Melt the butter in a big pot, throw in the vegetables and fry on rather low heat until they are getting soft but not any colour. Add the mussel stock, tomato puré and vermouth, bring to a boil and let it reduce for a little while. Whip the cream lightly and stir it in together with a pinch of ancho chili. Bring to a slow simmer. Add the saithe and let it simmer for a minute or two, then add the peeled shrimp. Cook for another 4-5 minutes (we cooked everything for about six minutes, then the saithe was perfect but the shrimp a slight bit overcooked so add those after the fish). We served with the green stuff from the fennel on top, it adds nice colour but no real taste. For colour and flavour, decorate with dill instead. We didn't think it needed any salt or pepper, but let your taste decide.

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