Late spring is a perfect moment in the life of vegetables. Peas, carrots, potatoes and onions are brand new, filled with tender, sweet flavor, the juiciest and most flavorful they will be all year. This dish, which is topped with a fresh lettuce that melts gently into it, is a celebration of spring, ideal to serve with roasted meats or fish.
ASTUCE: The best meat for couscous soup is lamb neck, which is wonderfully gelatinous, rather like oxtail or beef eye of round. You can use a mix of meats too, however, without adding any pork. Baking soda added to beans as they cook tenderizes them. Finally, you will notice that the carrots and the zucchini cook until they are soft, which is how they are meant to be. If you want your vegetables a bit more “al dente,” simply add them later on in the cooking time.
I always have fish stock in my freezer, for making a quick soup or adding to a sauce. I freeze about 2 cups in ice cube trays, then pop the cubes in ice cube trays, then pop the cubes out of the trays and put them in freezer bags or containers. (Each cube is approximately 1 ½ tablespoons of stock).
ASTUCES: freeze whatever fish stock you don’t use in 1 cup (250ml) increments. Then it’s at your fingertips for other recipes.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: heavy saucepan
PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: simple
This recipe makes enough for 8 rounds. You will have leftover mashed potatoes, most likely; don’t worry, they keep and reheat perfectly.
Equipment: six to eight 3-1/2cm (9-inches) metal rounds, for presentation; parchment paper; baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Or, if you prefer, a medium-sized baking dish.