Veloute aux Poissons

A delicious soup, Veloute aux Poissons (veh-looh-tay oh pwah-sohn) can be made with any selection of white fish fillets.

The more different kinds of fish used, the better the soup zoill taste. Before serving, the soup may be garnished with tiny strips of cooked fish, but this is not essential.

1 lb. white fish fillets, cut into cubes

1 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper juice of

1 lemon

5 oz. butter

3 pints fish stock

2 celery stalks, trimmed and finely chopped bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

8 fl. oz. single cream

6 egg yolks, lightly beaten

Rub the fish all over with half the salt and half the pepper and sprinkle over the lemon juice.

In a large frying-pan, melt 2 ounces of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the fish and fry, turning once, for 6 to 8 minutes

Veloute d’Artois

A thick, rich soup made with haricot beans, Veloute d’Artois (veh-looh-tay dahr-tw-ahz) is ideal for a warming light supper. Serve with crispbreads and cheese for a delightful meal.

5 oz. butter

2 oz. flour

2 pints chicken stock

1 pint chicken consomme

12 oz. white haricot beans, soaked in cold water overnight, drained, cooked and pureed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

8 fl. oz. single cream

6 egg yolks, lightly beaten

In a large saucepan, melt 2 ounces of the butter over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the flour until the mixture forms a thick paste. Gradually add the stock, stirring constantly and being careful to avoid lumps. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the soup is thick and smooth. Stir in the consomme, then the bean puree. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for a further 3 min-utes.

Stir in the cream and the remaining or until the flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Remove the pan from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to kitchen paper towels to drain.

Place the fish in a medium-sized mixing bowl and, using a fork, mash it finely.

Place the stock, celery, bouquet garni and fish in a large saucepan. Set the pan over high heat and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, partly cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour through a fine wire strainer set over a large bowl. Press down on the fish and flavourings with the back of a wooden spoon to extract all the juices. Discard the contents of the strainer.

Rinse out the saucepan and return the strained soup to it. Stir in the cream and the remaining butter. Place the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl. Using a kitchen fork, beat in 4 tablespoons of the hot soup. Stir the egg yolk mixture into the soup.

Return the pan to moderately low heat and cook, stirring frequently, for a further 10 minutes. Do not allow the soup to come to the boil or the egg yolks will scramble.

Remove the pan from the heat. Ladle the soup into a warmed soup tureen and serve at once.

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