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Friday, May 7, 2010

Creamy Scallop Soup

This is a silky smooth soup with a few croutons on top for a bit of crunch, and is a great choice for any special occcasion.

2 oz Butter 
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
1 pound Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Pint Warm Fish Stock
12 oz Bay Scallops
10 oz Cold Milk
2 Large Egg Yolks
3 oz Heavy Cream
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 - 4 Slices Thick Bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
Olive Oil

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the diced potatoes to the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, cover the pan and let the mixture to simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Next pour in the fish stock, stir and cover. Simmer gently for a further 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the scallops: rinse and dry them thoroughly and place on a plate. Dice the scallops and place in a saucepan with the cold milk and a little salt and pepper. Poach very gently for 3-4 minutes or until opaque.

When the vegetables are cooked, transfer them and their cooking liquid to a blender and purée. You may need to do this in 2 or 3 smaller batches. Return the pureed mixture to the large pot, and add the scallops (and the milk they were cooked in).

Finally, beat the egg yolks thoroughly with the cream. Remove the soup pan from the heat, and stir in the egg and cream mixture. Return the pan to low heat. Cook, stirring until the soup thickens slightly – but be very careful not to let it come anywhere near the boil or it will curdle.

Just before serving, prepare the croutons.

To make the croutons, preheat oven to 350°F. Place the cubes of bread in a bowl, together with the oil, and stir to coat evenly. Arrange croutons on a baking sheet. Bake on an upper shelf in the oven for 10 minutes or until they are crisp and golden.

Allow croutons to cool slightly on the baking sheet. Ladle soup into warm bowls and garnish with croutons and some chopped fresh parsley.

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