I want to show off my latest creation ;)
The addition of vodka at the end might seem weird, but it is really really good. It enhances and magnifies all the flavors and makes the soup much more profound.
Now that looks mighty good!
Hmmm....is that caviar on top?
Looks amazing! Now I am hungry again!
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1 lane snapper
1 grey gurnard
2 chicken legs
1/3 of root celery
1 bay leaf
3-4 mushrooms (I have used girolles, but champignons should be fine)
1 egg white
1/2 cup of fine barley kasha
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons of chopped dill
2 tablespoons of chopped tarragon
Note: fish can be exchanged, for example for perch and pike. Other substitutions should be also fine, provided that you use white, small fish.
Note: instead of fine barley kasha, you can use semolina, or other coarsely ground wheat/barley product.
Clean and fillet the snapper and reserve the fillets. Clean the gurnard and chop it into pieces. While cleaning, remember to remove the gills! Clean and cut 2 carrots, parsnip, celery, leek, mushrooms and the tomato. Put it in a pan together with the fish (including heads and bones) and the chicken. Add one bay leaf, cover with water, add salt and simmer gently for about 3 hours. Meanwhile, boil 1 cup of water, put in the butter, some salt and cook the fine barley kasha. At the end add the chopped dill and half of the chopped tarragon, mix it through and spread in a flat dish. Cover the dish and leave to chill. Cut the remaining carrot into nice pieces and portion the lane snapper fillets.
When the stock is ready, strain it through a sieve and leave to cool. Mix fillet trimmings with chopped tomato and remaining tarragon and mix in the egg white. Once the broth is cold, put the egg mixture into it and start gradually heating up. When it starts to boil, it will be crystal clear. You can leave it to simmer for a little while. In that time, boil the carrots and gently fry the snapper fillets in clarified butter. Cut the set kasha into cubes and arrange it with the carrots on the bottom of the dish. Put the fish on top, decorate with trout roe and some dill.
Pass the clarified broth through a sieve lined with a cheese cloth, put the amount you will be using in a jug and add vodka. Usually, you have to put about 3 teaspoons in one portion to get a nice, but not too strong effect. Just rely on your taste buds and do not add to much at once. The flavour of the soup will become really strong, but pleasant. Pour the soup into the plates and enjoy.
Girolles, also called chantarelles, are quite mild, a little bit more woody than champignons. And champignons are just the white mushrooms that you get at the grocery store, I think they are called button mushrooms too. You can also use the chestnut variety, its better than the white.
The flavor of the mushrooms is not really strong, it changes the taste very slightly, adds one more subtle aroma. If you really don't want to use them you can skip them, but if you have some on hand they are a great addition.