Purr-fect: catfish soup


April 06, 2005|By Donna Pierce | Donna Pierce,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Canned tomatoes and frozen sliced okra offer shortcuts to success by adding a colorful flavor boost to this comfort soup.

Using a between-season lineup of vegetables available now in the produce section, this hearty dinner satisfies while we await spring vegetables. Substitute tilapia or red snapper fillets if you don't have a taste for catfish, and call it seafood soup.


Buy shredded cabbage from the supermarket to save chopping time.

Catfish Soup

Preparation time: 15 minutes; cooking time: 25 minutes

Makes 8 servings

4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 each, quartered: small red onion, ribs celery

1 carrot, quartered

2 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth

2 bottles (4 ounces each) clam juice

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) whole tomatoes, chopped

1/2 head cabbage, cored, chopped

1 fennel bulb, trimmed, thinly sliced

1 cup frozen sliced okra

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice

2 catfish fillets, 6 ounces each, cut into chunks

Cook bacon, turning occasionally, in a Dutch oven over high heat until crisp, about 3 minutes; set aside. Meanwhile, pulse onion, celery, carrot and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped.

Add chopped vegetables, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste to Dutch oven. Cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 minutes. Stir in hot pepper flakes.

Stir in broth, clam juice, tomatoes, cabbage, fennel and okra. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to package instructions.

Gently stir catfish into the Dutch oven; cook until the catfish is flaky, about 4 minutes. Serve over rice; garnish with bacon.

Per serving: 293 calories; 7 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 30 milligrams cholesterol; 42 grams carbohydrate; 17 grams protein; 782 milligrams sodium; 4 grams fiber

- Recipe and analysis from the Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper



Catfish soup

Salad of mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette

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Riesling or beer

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