Wife Jan is on the Noom program and is still giving me lists of recipe names from her app. Many of these recipes are directly from Prevention, but I could not find this one on-line so I decided to wing it. Starting with the idea of a grilled seafood soup—the recipe name my wife gave me—I thought about what would go into it.
The idea of grilling some fish on the barbecue before adding it to a soup was a novel idea—at least to me. I had some frozen cod, but one type of fish alone is not enough to warrant the name “seafood”—otherwise it would be called “grilled cod” soup. I also had some scallops and—as was at the store buying fish stock—I saw a can of minced clams, which seemed like a good addition. Even if I could not grill the clams, three types of seafood matches the recipe name with which I started.
Note: As I was writing up this dish, I did finally find one recipe that used this technique. The recipes that I actually looked at that called themselves “grilled seafood” soups simply put their Dutch oven on the barbecue.
I decided that I did not want to make it a creamy seafood chowder—cream is a definite “red food” in the Noom program. Jan also like me to pack in as many vegetables as I can into whatever dish I make, so celery, leeks, onions, parsley, and tomatoes made it into the mix. I thought I should add some starch to the soup, but I wanted to get away from my usual solution of potatoes. With the tomatoes I thought it was more of an Italian soup, so I had the idea of adding farro—which is a Noom “green food.”
Karl’s Grilled Seafood Soup with Farro
½ cup semi pearled farro
½ tsp. Kosher salt
1 lb. cod fillets
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
Pinch Kosher salt
½ lb. bay scallops
1 Tbs. butter (Irish/European preferred)
1 cup yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 leek, white part only, cross-cut lengthwise and sliced finely
4 cloves garlic, mashed
1 can (15 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 can (6.5 oz.) chopped clams
32 oz. fish stock
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried basil
1 Mediterranean bay leaf
(Optional) 1 Tbs. corn starch mixed with 2 Tbs. cold water
½ cup flat leafed parsley, chopped
.1 Put the farro in a small pot and cover it with water by one inch and add the salt.
Tip: Much of the salt will be poured away when you drain the grain after par-cooking it.
Note: Whole grain farro must be soaked overnight and then simmer for hours. Semi pearled farro has had some—but not all—of the bran removed and cooks in only 30 minutes.
2. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover.
3. Simmer the farro for 20 minutes.
Note: You are not intending to cook the farro completely at this stage. It will be simmered for another ten minutes after you add it to the soup.
4. Pat the cod dry with paper towels and lightly oil the fillets.
5. Insert a bamboo skewer through the fillet.
Tip: This support helps keep the fish together as you are grilling it and prevents bits from falling through the grate.
6. Sprinkle pepper and salt over the fish and let them air dry for 10 minutes.
Tip: The dryer the surface is the faster you will get a nice char.
7. String the scallops on 1-2 bamboo skewers.
Tip: You actually want the scallops packed closely on the bamboo, so that they do not overcook before they start to char.
Note: Set the scallops aside with the fish to dry, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
8. Prepare the vegetables and measure the herbs as suggested in the ingredients list and set them aside.
9. Grill the seafood directly over the flames, until you have a nice char on both sides, and set them aside.
10. Melt the butter in your soup pot over a medium high heat.
11. Sauté the onions, celery, and a pinch of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes.
12. Add the sliced leek and continue sautéing for another 4-5 minutes.
13. Pull the vegetables to the sides of the pot and sauté the garlic in the hole in the center until fragrant, about one minute.
14. Add the can of tomatoes to the pot and use its liquid to deglaze the pot.
15. Stir in the farro, clams—with all of its liquid—the fish stock and the herbs into the vegetables.
16. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the soup for ten minutes.
Tip: While the soup is simmering, remove the seafood from the bamboo skewers and break the fish up into bite sized pieces.
17. Stir the seafood and most of the parsley into the soup and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Tip: If you prefer a thicker broth in your soup, stir in the cornstarch slurry at this point.
18. Serve warm and garnish with the remaining parsley.