Only one more week until my book deadline, so let’s keep this brief. If you happen to have a tiny little box of saffron in your spice collection, you don’t have to wait for paella to use it. Here’s a really fast and easy soup you can make with your favorite white fish. It’s warm and wonderful.
Cod, Fennel, and Saffron Stew
Serve with crusty bread or potatoes, roasted or mashed.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. cod fillets or other white fish, cut into large chunks
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 carrot, sliced into 1/2-inch coins
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white wine
2 Tbsp. dry vermouth
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmery hot. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the fennel and carrots, and sauté until light golden, about 5 minutes. Add the fish pieces and sprinkle with thyme, saffron, salt, and pepper. Add the water, wine, and vermouth, and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender and the fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.