This is one of the typical dishes of Dublin and Drogheda. We do not have sufficient sources to know Oliver Plunkett's favourite dish, but we can easily imagine that this fish and shellfish soup was a dish he enjoyed. It has been eaten in that part of the world since time immemorial and is a dish that goes well in all seasons. It is light and fairly easy to make, but it has a secret: that of not browning the fish, so bear in mind that everything continues to cook even after you take it off the heat.
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 small onion, diced
1 leek, cleaned and diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 potato, diced
50g smoked salmon, sliced (cut into julienne, i.e. long, thin strips)
120ml dry white wine
450ml fish stock
225g mixed fresh fish fillets (skinned and cut into small pieces; cod, haddock, hake or salmon)
175g raw Dublin Bay prawns and mussels (cleaned)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the butter and when frothy add the onion, leek, carrot, potato and smoked salmon. Fry for 2-3 minutes until soft.
Pour the wine into the pan and reduce by half. Add the fish stock or water and bring to the boil, then add the fresh fish and shellfish.
Return the pan to the heat and add the cream and tarragon, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover with a lid and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes until the fish and prawns are tender and all the mussels have opened, discarding those that do not.
Pour the soup into warmed serving bowls, generously stacking the fish and shellfish in the centre of each. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.