I am incorrigible in thinking constantly about soup. Thanks to my good friend and culinary buddy Irene Sax,
I went to a very good Peruvian restaurant in Brooklyn, Coco Roco. There we had an extraordinarily good and
unusual ceviche. It was rather soupy, and I immediately thought how foolish it was of me not to have imagined
turning the many marvelous ceviches into soups. The next morning I did just that.
The soup is rather intense in flavor, especially if made with less water and served in the hollowed-out papaya shells.
I think that most people will find that a half cup is enough for a first course. If the large amount of water is added,
the soup must be chilled for at least four hours. It will thicken and give more servings.
I prefer this soup at a cool room temperature; but if serving it chilled — unless using the larger amount of water —
which means that it will have been sitting at least an hour in the refrigerator, reduce the jalapeño slightly as the
bite increases as the soup sits.
Makes 4 to 6 cups; 4-8 First-Course Servings
| (CLICK TO BUY)
10 ounces flounder fillets
3 medium ripe papayas (about 14 ounces each)
Juice of 4 medium limes (1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons peeled grated ginger
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 medium bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped medium-fine
|Lay the fish out on the counter. Separate the fillets along the natural division, removing the membrane along with any remaining bones.
Cut the fillets lengthwise into strips 1 to 1 1/4 inches wide. Slice across into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Place the fish in a glass or ceramic bowl.|
|Cut the papayas in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds. Carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving the skins intact;
there should be about 3 cups. In a food processor, puree all but 1/2 cup of the papaya; there should be 1 1/2 cups of puree.
Cut the remaining papaya into 1/4-inch dice and refrigerate.|
|Stir the lime juice, salt, and ginger into the fish; let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the onion and let sit for 10 minutes.
Stir in the papaya puree, jalapeño, and cilantro. Let the mixture sit for 7 minutes. Stir in 1/4 to 2 cups water.|
|Serve at room temperature or chilled (if serving chilled, leave in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour but not more than 8 hours)
in the scooped-out papaya skins and sprinkled with a few teaspoons of diced papaya.|
Excerpted from SOUP, A WAY OF LIFE copyright © 1998 Barbara Kafka.
Reprinted with the permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.