We asked Annabelle to give us a recipe for a great girls’ night in (paired with The Sisters wines of course!) Here’s her idea of heaven in a bowl:
This makes enough to serve 12–15 people a bowl – so I freeze what I don’t need, but in a cold fridge this soup is good for 3–5 days.
In a nutshell, if I had to live on one food forever it would be seafood soup – not a thick cream-based chowder but a lighter broth that simply radiates the joys of the ocean.
1 cup dried mushrooms (or 1½ cups sliced fresh mushrooms)
2 ears fresh corn (or 2 cups frozen corn)
1–2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1–2 rashers bacon, finely sliced
½ cup chopped parsley
2–3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup flour
2 litres seafood stock
2–3 bay leaves
2 strips kombu (optional)
1kg frozen prawns (shelled but uncooked)
2 fillets (about 200g) fresh firm white fish
juice of 1 orange
salt and pepper
fresh herbs at the end
Place dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water to rehydrate. If using fresh, place sliced mushrooms to one side.
Remove corn from husks and quickly cook in a pan of hot water for just a few minutes. If using frozen corn, place in a bowl and set aside. Reserve corn cooking water and keep the cobs after shucking off the corn.
In a large stock pot heat oil, then add onion, celery, carrot, bacon, parsley and garlic. Cook on low heat, stirring often, to soften but not colour – do not rush this stage.
Chop up the butter and add to the pot. Add flour in two parts gradually and stir to create your roux. Cook out as much as you can without the mix catching and before you add the liquid.
Prepare seafood stock, using reserved corn cooking water instead of water. Add stock to pot, again in stages, so the mix will thicken. Once all liquid has been added, add bay leaves, kombu and reserved corn cobs and simmer very gently for 5–10 minutes. Add shucked corn and sliced mushrooms and continue cooking on a low heat while you prepare the seafood.
Place mussels in a large pot with a little water and cook for a few minutes until they just open (discarding any that don’t open). Chop up the mussel flesh and retain the cooking water.
Remove tails from prawns and cut in half. Chop fish into bite-size pieces. Add seafood, mussel water and orange juice to soup and bring heat back up to just boil.
Check seasoning then remove bay leaves, corn cobs and kombu. If you have fresh dill or more parsley or chives, this can be chopped and added just before serving.
Please note: The kombu is the magic flavour enhancer in this recipe and is dried and available at Asian food supply stores. You can always add a splash of The Sisters Sauvignon Blanc as you make this restorative chowder!
Quick and easy recipe from celebrity cook Annabelle White.