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Salsify And Monkfish Soup

ingredients

1 1/2 lb (700 g) scorzonera (black salsify)
14 oz (400 g) monkfish
juice of 1 lemon
1 3/4 pints (1 litre) fish stock
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 sprig thyme
salt and pepper

Serve with:

garlic croutons

method

1. Black salsify discolours very quickly once peeled, so have a large bowl of cold water acidulated with half the lemon juice standing ready and drop each piece into it as soon as it is peeled.

2. Cut the salsify into pieces 1 1/2 in (4 cm) long and boil for 20 minutes in a large saucepan of salted, acidulated water. Drain, leave to cool and then cut each piece lengthwise in half, remove the woody centre and slice the remaining, tender parts into strips. Take the monk-fish flesh off the bone, removing all the skin, and cut into fairly large pieces. Sprinkle with a little salt. Heat the fish stock.

3. Fry the peeled whole garlic clove and the thyme gently for 2 minutes; add the fish pieces and saute for 1 minute. Add the salsify and continue to fry gently for a further 2 minutes while stirring.

4. Add the hot fish stock, bring slowly to a very gentle boil and allow to simmer for 30 seconds only before removing from the heat.

5. Check that the fish is cooked (simmer for a little longer if not), add a little more salt if necessary, some freshly ground pepper and serve with the garlic croutons.

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