French Fridays with Dorie: Riviera Fish Soup

Dorie Greenspan Riviera Fish Soup on eatlivetravelwrite.comWell, well, well. It’s another fishy French Fridays with Dorie recipe. On paper this recipe looked pretty tasty – it’s fish and veggies basically – though it had the odd addition of fennel and an anise-based liquor (Ricard, Pernod) which I wondered about as they cooked away on my stovetop. The smell was a little bit odd. I think more off-putting for me was the colour – the tomatoes give this a distinctly red hue – it *looks* like tomato soup but most definitely doesn’t smell like it and the taste is nowhere near what the colour would lead you to believe it is!

Dorie starts out with a whole fish (head and all) but since I halved the recipe, I used some halibut fillets. No fish heads for me! I’ll admit that even me, a non fish-lover, thought this sounded ok, bar the anise/ liquorice notes but once those were added in, it changed the dish significantly.  As it cooks, the soup is a chunky soup though it’s puréed at the end (Dorie uses a food mill, I used an immersion blender and a metal sieve) which renders it very very thin (this is an issue for me with many of the soups in Around my French Table – Dorie likes them think and I prefer them with a little more substance).

Not sure this will be a repeat unless it’s significantly altered. I ate the toasts above slathered in habañero aioli (that we had in the cupboard) and dipped them in the soup so I could taste it. I was not a fan of the soup.   Mr Neil, fish-eater extraordinaire, was underwhelmed. He pronounced it “too thin” (I knew he would think this) and a little odd.

Get Dorie Greenspan’s Riviera Fish Soup recipe on page 92 of Around my French Table.

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27 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie: Riviera Fish Soup”

  1. Mine didn’t come out thin at all, but I didn’t strain it so that might be why. Next time I think that I would skip the food mill step alltogether and leave the thing chunky, because I loved the flavor, but not so much the work and clean up involved.

  2. Well at least your other half tasted it! I thought mine was going to be too thin, but I forgot I had to scrape the bottom of the food mill to get the solids. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this! Are we done with the fish yet?????!

  3. Yes, “underwhelmed” would be the perfect reaction from Mr. Neil.

    Consistency of soups is a personal preference, but like Mardi I like a little more on the chunky/rustic factor. Probably derived from my love of gazpacho, or making soups pre immersion blender. 😉

    I DO think a little less blending, and definitely fish heads, would have improved this dramatically.

    (“Fish heads, fish heads, rolly-poly fish ehads, eat them up – yum!) *Courtesy Barnes & Barnes, 1979.

  4. Totally agree with the too-thin texture after running it through the sieve. I thought it was much better looking before milling. Also, Mr. Neil, I was totally humming that song while cooking this dish and wondered if anyone else knew it!

  5. Color matters. In food. It just does. I also like thick soup and have always kept my Dorie soup recipes rather chunky. For some reason thick fills me up and thin leaves me hungry. I would have settled for those two pieces of toast.

  6. I think I would have preferred the chunk style, the fish pieces looked so go. I really didn’t want to puree them. The bread in your soup looks so good with the aioli.

  7. I liked the flavors but not the texture. After running through the food mill, it wasn’t all that thin, but I would have preferred to leave the fish in chunks. The slathered toasts saved it. At least you get a reprieve from fish for a while after this. It will be “No Fish” March! And, I now have that song running through my head thanks to Mr. Neil.

  8. Mine was quite thick, and I loved the vibrant red color! This was a winner in my house…sorry not so much in yours! Happy weekend!

  9. Agreed. Another fish recipe down, regardless of whether it will be repeated or not. Spoiler alert -it will not but the Pernod will be enjoyed regardless 🙂

  10. First of all, my older brother used to sing the “Fish heads” song to me ALL THE TIME when I was young…

    I think it was the fennel/ absinthe combo that threw me off with this one. Sigh.

    Yes, this is one of the down falls about not having any make ups left to do; but at least we can say we tried it all 🙂


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