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He brings the fish, you have the soup base boiling.

He brings the fish, you have the soup base boiling

A dinner party midweek? You work all day, have little spare time, but still want to entertain? Try this seafood soup potluck supper for 8.

Planning ahead makes it run smoothy. Do your shopping early and make parsley sauce ahead (it's served as a dip for salad vegetables and to add to the soup). Invite your guests to bring some of the fish, shellfish, dessert, or wine. Divvy up light duties for everyone--helping out adds to the fun.

Walk-around Salad

Potluck Seafood Soup

Parsley Sauce

Toasted Breadsticks and Garlic Butter

Dry Red or White Wine

Vanilla Gelato with Strawberry Preserves

If you have time in the morning, set out the dishes and equipment you'll need.

For the salad, choose easy-to-clean vegetables such as bell peppers, slender carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, green onions, tender inner leaves of romaine lettuce, and fennel (buy 3 to 4 lb. total). Have a guest rinse, trim, and arrange them all on a tray.

Have another guest oversee toasting the bread; someone else can arrange the seafood on a platter, while you watch over the soup and tend the fire. In the fireplace, the fish steeps in the broth; the fire also keeps soup hot for second helpings.

Potluck Seafood Soup

2 large cans (49 oz. each) or 12 cups regular-strength chicken broth

24 small thin-skinned red potatoes (1 1/2-in. diameter, about 2 1/2 lb. total)

3 medium-size leeks, white and tender green part rinsed well and thinly sliced

10 to 12 clams suitable for steaming, scrubbed

1 lobster tail (about 3/4 lb.), meat freed from shell and cut into 1-inch cubes (optional)

1/2 to 1 pound skinned, firm-texture, white-flesh fish fillets, such as halibut, white seabass, or swordfish, cut into 1-inch cubes (if lobster is omitted, use larger amount)

1/2 pound bay scallops, rinsed well

1/2 pound medium-size shrimp (43 to 50 per lb.), shelled and deveined

1 cooked Dungeness crab (about 1 1/2 lb.), cleaned and cracked (or use another 1/2 lb. shrimp)

Parsley sprigs

2 tablespoons minced parsley

Lemon wedges, optional

In a 6- to 8-quart pan that flames won't damage, bring broth to boiling over high heat. Add potatoes and leeks; when boiling, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in the fireplace, ignite several logs for a steady flow of heat.

On a platter or tray, arrange clams, lobster meat piled back into its shell, fish cubes, scallops, shrimp, and crab. Garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon.

Bring hot soup to the fireplace in pan (or continue to cook on the stove). Push pan close to the fire; the broth should sizzle and bubble on the side closest to the flames. For more heat, kindle small pieces of wood and stack them against the firefacing side of the pan.

Add clams to pan; cover and cook about 2 minutes. Gently drop in remaining seafood; cover. Adjust fire to keep broth sizzling on fire side of pan. Cook until clams open and chunks of fish are opaque in center (cut to test), 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle minced parsley into soup. Ladle soup into wide bowls; add lemon juice to taste. Makes 8 servings.

Parsley Sauce

In a blender or food processor, whirl 2 large eggs, 1 cup firmly packed parsley, 2 green onions, ends trimmed and chopped, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons dry basil leaves, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until parsley is minced. With motor running, gradually add 1 cup olive or salad oil; sauce will thicken. Serve, or cover and chill up to 2 days. Serve with salad, or to add to soup to taste. Makes 2 cups.

Toasted Breadsticks and Garlic Butter

Cut each of 4 sourdough sandwich rolls (each about 6 in. long) in quarters lengthwise. Lay wedges, slightly apart, on 2 baking pans, 10- by 15-inch size.

In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan over medium heat, melt 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine with 3 garlic cloves. Liberally brush cut surfaces of bread wedges with butter. Bake in a 400| oven until bread is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Offer remaining butter to dip bread into, or to add to soup to taste. Makes 16 pieces.

Photo: Light, flavorful broth surrounds potatoes, leeks, and seafood for a main-course soup

Photo: Far left: guest arrives with his contributions for soup supper

Photo: Left: add clams, scallops, lobster, crab, and other seafoods to the hot broth

Photo: Below: snacking on vegetables (on mantel) and on toasted breadsticks, guests watch as soup is ladled from the pan
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Feb 1, 1988
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