Hey there... (French Fridays with Dorie: Simplest Breton Fish Soup)

Hello, 2015.

I hope everyone had a safe New Year.

We spent the evening clutching the box of Sudafed and praying to the time gods to let the minutes advance fast enough so that the next dose could be taken. I assume midnight happened. I just didn't see it. We did pull ourselves out long enough to hit the movies, though (although, a part of me fervently wished that the movie would end so that I could go back home, put on my pajamas and console myself with a cup of hot tea.)

Exciting times, right?

There are no shiny resolutions planned to go along with the shiny new year.

My desire is for a year filled with health for myself and my loved ones, calm in the world around me and the ability to look at life with a filter of gratitude. I am sure that when I wake up, I will realize that my second desire would be better served as a wish for the ability to gracefully handle the lack of calm in my personal universe. Much more practical, no?

Speaking of practical, this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe was a far more sensible recipe than I first envisioned. When I saw the title of "Simplest Breton Fish Soup", I envisioned a multi-county grocery store scavenger hunt that involved sourcing three types of unavailable to Upstate NY'ers varieties of fish.

Mussels and white fish (I used cod) were the not-so-exotic and very easy to source proteins for this simple dish. (Since they are in season, fresh Maine wild mussels are available for ~1$ a pound here right now.) I think the most exotic ingredients for this dish were the leek and shallot.

One of the sections I have enjoyed the most in Around My French Table is the selection of very approachable soups. This one was no exception - aromatics (leek, celery, onion, shallot and garlic) were sauteed in butter until slightly golden. Broth (vegetable), seasonings and potatoes were added and simmered until the potatoes began to tenderize. The fish and finally the mussels were added toward the end and cooked until done. In less than 45 minutes, soup's on... A simple, lovely soup - one might even say, "The Simplest".

The highlight of this soup was the garnish - a simple vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, mustard, olive oil, shallots and some seasoning. It still surprises me how much these little additions take a good dish into the realm of even better.

Served along with a slice of crusty bread (and a couple of Sudafed), this soup fit the bill for lunch on a cold winter day.

Happy, happy New Year, my friends. Wishing you all the best in 2015.

Peace out.


This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. A slightly less simple version of Dorie's Simplest Breton Fish Soup can be found here.


  1. Feel better soon, Cher!

    Thank you for running through the process of making the soup. If I can swing by the fishmonger after work today, we might have a French Friday after all.

  2. I totally agree with you about this soup. It was simple and delicious! My husband loves mussels, so I knew this was going to be a winner! Yours looks lovely! After reading your post, I’m sorry I didn’t make the vinaigrette. Next time! Happy New Year, Cher! Feel better soon!

  3. Perfect timing for your cold and yes, mussels are always fairly inexpensive on the East Coast, we are lucky. Happy New Year... great resolutions.

  4. Happy New Year Cher! I hope your cold is disappearing now. This soup was simple and good. Mussels for $1/pound - v jealous.

  5. Hope your cold has run its course by now. I like your set of resolutions, thoughtful and sensible just like you. I enjoyed this one too. I can see making this again. Nice that it can work with any fish you can find. Hope you have a very Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

  6. I hope you're feeling better! What a way to spend New Year's. I was surprised by how much I liked the vinaigrette. It was my favorite part of the soup, and the one part that I might like to repeat. I'm glad you enjoyed the whole dish!

  7. Ugh, hope you feel better soon!!! Happy New Year, Cher!!! xo

  8. I hope you're feeling better! I was sick twice in December and it really put me behind at such a busy time. I'm glad this soup was an easy one and that it was a hit for you! I like your goats for 2015 - happy New Year!

  9. Sick and the Holidays is not a great combination. You have my sympathy. I am glad you liked the soup and that you had something good to say about the
    vinaigrette. It has gotten mixed reviews. I am in Cedar City, Utah, tonight, on my way to Cambria. That's why I will be making the soup (and, vinaigrette) next week when I have access to fresh fish. I am hoping for good health for the year ahead for your family also. If good health comes for you all, calm and gratitude will automatically follow. Life gets complicated and you're right in the middle of now. Happy New Year to you, Joe and those girls.

  10. Happy New Year, Cher! So sorry to hear that it did not get off to a great start. Wishing you health, peace, and delicious dishes the rest of 2015.

  11. Even though mussels are readily available and also relatively inexpensive, I still think they look exotic! Simple and exotic is a combination that can't be beat. It's shallots I have a tough time finding! (And so it's Sudafed you recommend?) Happy New year!

  12. I hope you are feeling better. I am glad you liked this soup and send praises for all her soups. I will be making another Dorie soup tonight so it is good to know. Happy healthy new year.

  13. Oh, man! you got sick, too! I agree that the soup is really nice to eat when one is sick and it's a lovely soup. And, $1/lb for the mussels?!? Jealous! They're in season here, too, and are more like $4/lb (not the maine ones). Happy New Year, Cher, and I hope you can come to learn to gracefully handle the lack of calm in your life. When you do so, can you please tell me how you do it? I need help with that, too. :)

  14. The older we get, the less exciting New Year's Eve becomes... I hope you are feeling better by now! I forgot to mention the vinaigrette in my post about this soup, but I agree that it really provided the perfect finishing touch. I love your photo!

  15. Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well. I trust you are better now!

    We liked this soup too - and liked the vinaigrette too. Yours looks delicious!!


Post a Comment

Hi - Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear from you!

Due to the high number of weirdo SPAM comments I have been receiving, I have turned comment moderation back on for the time being... Comments may show a slight delay.

Popular posts from this blog