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Lady Morgan English fish soup

(Creation of the great French Chef Marie Antoine Careme, 1784-1833)

This artist, Marie Antoine Careme, was chef to Talleyrand, Tsar Alexander I, George IV, and Baron Rothschild. He lived and continues to live in an entirely different dimension from you and me and this soup collection. Nevertheless, for the record, here is one of his great creations. He says, "I served it for the first time at Boulogne, near Paris, in the household of Monsieur le Baron de Rothschild, the very day that I had the honor of being presented to the celebrated Lady Morgan." This recipe is verbatim from his 1833 L'Art de la Cuisine Français. For a more elaborate recipe...and story...please see The Hardest Soup in the World.

First make the fish stock: In a pot combine the fish bones and trimmings, the champagne, lemon pulp, truffle parings, onions, carrot, celery, leeks, bay leaf, nutmeg, cayenne, cloves, anchovies, and salt--bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour. Put through a silk sieve and pour it into a good veal stock.

Then make fish scallops: Saute the filets of brill, sole, and eel and shape them into scallops.

Then make quenelles: make a forcemeat of the whiting and crayfish butter. Use coffee spoons to form them into quenelles, then poach them in the consomme.

Then prepare the truffles: poach them in consomme, then cut them an inch in diameter with a root slicer--then cut them into scallops 2-inches thick.

Then, serially, blanch the mushrooms, oysters, shrimp, and crayfish tails in consomme.

Then clarify the broth of the soup, mixing together the broth, the fish stock, and all the consommes. Bring to a boil.

Presentation: In a soup tureen, place the drained quenelles, the drained fish scallops, the truffles, mushrooms, oysters, shrimp, and crayfish. When ready to serve, pour the boiling hot broth into the tureen and take to table. Whew!