|Don't be fooled, all that delicious rice and bits of fish are in the bottom. this is a delicious soup!! :)|
Marjoram and Garlic (apart from the fish stock of course) are the most important ingredients in this soup. They lend the flavour to it, differing it from "just any" fish based broth.
You can use any fish to make this soup, however i have a special taste for either vopi (i think they'e called pilot fish in English) and Lampuki aka mahimahi aka dorado, aka dolphin fish. I would recommend using a strong flavoured fish (esp heads and bones!) at least in the stock, and adding white fish to is as an optional thing right at the end.
|bubble bubble toil and trouble! - also note the freshness of lampuki, the gold and blue hues are still very visible!|
I believe this soup was one that came out of the necessity of stretching each bit of food as far as possible in the past - and my aversion to waste makes me love it even more. One of my favourite meals, and it's made from things you'll find at home all the time, plus a few fish-heads. lovely! :)
Fish heads/tales/spine (or whole small fish) - I used the heads and bones of 5 x medium sized fish.
2 medium onions, sliced very finely.
salt, pepper, a fresh lemon
marjoram, fresh, heaps of! (this is not really something that can be substituted, it will not taste like aljotta without it. but if you must, use fresh oregano, it's inferior, in this case at least, cousin). remove leaves from stalks :)
500 grams tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon Kunserva
10 or more large cloves of garlic, chopped roughly.
50 grams white long-grain rice, raw.
In one large pot, place fish bones (after washing them) and barely cover them with water. add some salt, pepper and squeeze of lemon, and bring to the boil. As soon as it bubbles, turn down heat and let simmer for about 1 hour. As soon as this is ready, lift the fish out of the water (keep the water of course!) and using your hands, after the fish has cooled, gently pull off any meat left on the bones. This meat will be going back into the soup, so be careful (and make surre you're using your fingers to feel) not to put any bones in the "back to the pot" pile.
The aim is to have about 2 litres of stock, so if you have heaps more, turn up the heat and reduce it a little. If you have less, don't worry, add more water later if needs be.
|ready to be "harvested" for meat, and then squeezed through a sieve to get the best flavours out!|
Add the saucey stuff to the fish stock, and stir around. Taste and adjust seasoning (no need for pepper, just salt and maybe some more lemon).
This soup is a great starter, or perfect for a light meal :) Serve with some Maltese (or any delicious sourdough loaf). My dad loves to just drop bits of the fresh bread into the soup, i must say it's quite tasty.
It's simplicity makes me really think of Maltese peasant food. Again, a fantastic meal using scraps and bits :) love it! :D
N.B. the first time I made this soup, I added about a cup of rice, so it ended up being a very very delicious risotto, rather than a soup. I has also only used 2 fish heads and tails, so had made much less water. It was quite funny, but seriously, was so tasty that I would consider having this accident again. :)