This is a great recipe that uses seasonal vegetables and you can substitute whatever fish you happen to have available. Make a big pot on a cold day for friends and family to enjoy.
Makes 11 1/2 cups
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
4 dried chilis
2 cups leeks (white only), medium diced
2 cups cipollini onion, medium diced
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs thyme
2 quarts canned plum tomatoes, crush with hands
2 quarts water
2 cups rutabaga, medium diced
2 cups parsnip, medium diced
2 cups butternut squash, medium diced
2 cups celery root, medium diced
2 cups new potatoes, medium diced
8 ounces left-over dried pasta (I like to use odds and ends of pasta from your pantry, ideally two different kinds, one short and one long)
8 ounces monkfish (if you don’t have monkfish, any firm white fish can be a substitution, such as striped bass.)
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil and lightly toast garlic and chilis over medium heat. Add leeks, cipollini onions, bay leaf and thyme. Lightly season and sweat until onions are translucent. Add crushed tomatoes and water, preseason and bring to a simmer.
Skim any impurities that rise to the surface and proceed to add the vegetables in order of cooking time starting with the rutabagas, parsnips, butternut squash, celery root and finally, potatoes.
Adjust seasoning with the addition of vegetables. When the vegetables are tender add the pasta and fish.
Gently stir while pasta and fish are cooking to help emulsify the sauce. A slow steady simmer is required during all phases of this recipe. When pasta and fish are cooked taste and adjust seasoning, let the soup rest for about five minutes before serving, so the pasta can absorb the sauce.