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Red mullet soup – by Gordon Ramsay

11 September 2006

Ingredients

(serves four)

1 litre/11/4 pint fish stock
4 small red mullets each weighing about 125g/4oz prepared into fillets but with heads and bones reserved
2 pinches of saffron strands
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Olive oil (for sautéing)
2 shallots sliced
1/2 head of celery roughly chopped
1 medium bulb fennel roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic unpeeled
100g/31/2oz tomatoes chopped
1tsp Pernod
Lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh ground white pepper

To garnish
1 small carrot and1 small courgette - cut into fine julienne strips

Method

Wash the red mullet fillets heads and bones in cold water. Pat dry with kitchen paper towels then remove any pin bones with tweezers.

Sprinkle the fillets with the saffron and cayenne cover with clingfilm and set aside in a cool place or refrigerator for about two hours.

Sauté the fish heads and bones with a little of the oil in a large saucepan for about five minutes or until golden brown.

Add vegetables and tomato and cook for a further five minutes or so. Stir in the Pernod and cook until evaporated.

Pour in the fish stock so that the contents of the pan are covered. Bring slowly to the boil. Turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor or liquidiser and blend until smooth. Strain first through a fine sieve then through a colander lined with wet muslin or clean fine cloth. Set aside.

Blanch the julienne of carrot and courgette in lightly salted boiling water then drain and chill in ice-cold water. Drain again and set aside.

When you are almost ready to serve pan-fry the fillets of red mullet skin-side down in olive oil for about two minutes. Flip over carefully and cook the other side for just 30 seconds.

Return the soup to the pan and reheat until just boiling. Season with lemon juice salt and pepper. Place the fillets of red mullet in the bottom of each soup plate and slowly pour over the hot clear soup. Ramsay garnishes the soup with a julienne of carrot and courgette and tortellini of herbs.

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