A recent poll among living-alone friends has revealed a ghastly truth we've suspected all along...single people survive on sandwiches. Sometimes cocktails or Chinese take-out. But it doesn't have to be that way--dinner at home for one can be easy, delicious, warming and fast.
This recipe for fish soup is a weekly staple at the Tomato Estate. It takes about 20 minutes from beginning to end and is cooked in one pot with pretty common ingredients. We swirl a generous spoonful of cilantro pesto (recipe April 1. 2007) on top...but then we swirl a generous spoonful of cilantro pesto on just about everything, from cold salmon to steamed cauliflower.
You can use any white, flakey fish, but we suggest U.S.-farmed tilapia. Ocean's Alive includes them on their Eco-Best list of fish to eat because in the U.S. they are raised in closed tank systems, where the risk of escape is reduced and water pollution is minimized. This fish is hardy and a fast grower, and can out-compete other species and devastate non-native eco-systems should they flee their little pens, and we don't want that.
Serves One in About 20 Minutes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small leek, washed well, whites only chopped fine
1 garlic clove, chopped fine
1/2 yellow, orange or red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 small yellow or red tomato, chopped fine
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 tsp hot or sweet pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika)
1 pinch saffron threads
2 tbsp white wine (only if you want)
1 cup fresh water or fish stock
1 filet tilapia (about 1/3 pound)
1 tbsp fresh herbs of any kind (only if you want)
Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the leek, garlic, bell pepper, tomato, salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables over low to medium heat until they are soft and release their fragrance, about 5 minutes.
Add the pimentón and saffron and stir. Add the wine if you are using it and bring to a boil. Add the water or fish stock and bring to a boil, immediately turn the broth down to low. Simmer for 5 minutes and taste for seasoning. It should taste good on its own.
Cut the fish into rough one-inch cubes and add to the simmering broth. Cook about another 5 minutes, until you can cut the pieces with a spoon. Throw in a few herbs and serve.