Cyprus Cooking by Liz
Fish soup - Psarosoupa
Updated: Jun 28, 2020
Fish soup made with small red scorpion fish, called scorpion because its tail and fins have very sharp pointy needles and when stung it really hurts for quite some time, so at the fish shop, ask for the fins and tail to be cut off to avoid any painful scorpion fish experience.
"Scorpaenidae (also known as the scorpion fish) are a family of mostly marine fish that includes many of the world's most venomous species. As the name suggests, scorpion fish have a type of "sting" in the form of sharp spines coated with venomous mucus. The family is a large one, with hundreds of members". "Small red scorpion fish (Scorpaena notata) is a venomous Scorpion fish, common in marine subtropical waters. It is widespread in the Eastern Atlantic from the Bay of Biscay to Senegal, Madeira, Azores and the Canary Islands, including the Mediterranean (rare in northern Adriatic) and the Black Sea".
This fish because of its ugly looks is mostly used for soup, because of its needles not everybody likes it, but it is a delicious fish with large chunks of white meat and it does not smell fishy, also excellent to be prepared in the oven. Mrs Amalia prepared the soup quite often following the healthy Mediterranean diet and she used eggs and lemons to finish of the soup, likewise the egg - lemon soup in blog post dated 14/4/2018.
800 gr to 1 kg red scorpion fish or any other fish for soup
1 1/2 liter water
3 carrots cut in large pieces
3 potatoes cut in large pieces
1 onion cut in half
3-4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in halves
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons rice glace
salt and pepper
Cut the potatoes and carrots in large chunks.
Pour the water in a large cooking pot, add the carrots and potatoes and bring to the boil. Close the pot with its lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add fish, onion halves, celery stalks, pepper corns and salt, bring to the boil, close the lid and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes. If the fish is large, cut it in half to fit the casserole.
The fish is ready when the flesh loosens from its bone easily.
Scrape off the skin of the fish immediately, when it cools down even slightly, the skin sticks on the meat and its more difficult to clean it. Only necessary on the top side.
Strain the soup with the help of a sieve into a smaller cooking pot.
Remove the onion, peppercorns and most of the celery stalks, keep the potatoes and carrots.
Transfer the potatoes and carrots to a clean plate or bowl.
Place some pieces of potato in a clean sieve over the fish bouillon, with the back of a spoon, smooth the potatoes and press them through the sieve.
Add the rice and bring back to the boil, close with its lid and simmer for 25 minutes.
In the meantime clean the fish and transfer on a clean plate or bowl. This fish does not have a lot of bones, but be meticulous when preparing the fish.
The soup can be eaten simple like this with mashed potato, carrot and fish on the side, drizzled with some olive oil, fresh lemon juice and freshly grounded black pepper. Another variant is to chop some carrot and celery in very small pieces and add them to the soup together with some finely chopped fish chunks. Ideally is to finish the soup as Mrs Amalia used to with a mixture of egg and lemon, see also blog-post Egg - Lemon soup dated 14/4/2018 for the explanation of that preparation.
Enjoy! - Καλή όρεξη!
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