Sopa de marisc (Seafood Soup)
Originally from the city of Girona, this hearty soup is a meal on its own.
* 1 1/2 lb raw prawns (shrimp)
* 4 cups cold water
* 1 onion, chopped
* celery stick, chopped
* 1 bay leaf
* 3 tbsp olive oil
* 2 slices stale bread
* 1 small onion, finely chopped
* 1 large garlic clove, chopped
* 2 large tomatoes, halved
* 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
* 1 1/4 clams or mussels, cleaned
* juice of 1 lemon
* 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
* 1 tsp paprika
* salt and black pepper
Cooking Time 1 hour
Pull the heads off the prawns and put them in a pan with the cold water. Add the onion, celery and bay leaf and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Peel the prawns, adding the shells to the stock as you go along. Heat the oil in a wide, deep flameproof casserole and fry the bread slices quickly, then reserve them. Fry the onion until it is soft, adding the garlic towards the end. Scoop the seeds out of the tomatoes and discard.
Chop the flesh and add to the casserole with the green pepper. Fry briefly, stirring occasionally. Strain the stock into the casserole and bring to the boil. Check over the cockles or mussels, discarding any that are open or damaged.
Add half the cockles or mussels to the stock. When open, use a slotted spoon to transfer some of them out on to a plate. Remove the mussels or cockles from the shells and discard the shells. Meanwhile, repeat the process to cook the remaining cockles or mussels.
Return the cockles or mussels to the soup and add the prawns. Add the bread, torn into little pieces, and the lemon juice and chopped parsley.
Season to taste with paprika, salt and pepper and stir gently to dissolve the bread. Serve at once in soup bowls, providing a plate for the empty shells.
Wine Pairing: Blanco joven DO Catalunya