Fish Soup with Crayfish Ravioli
Jacques Maximin's version of the classic Provençal soupe de poisson is emblematic of his bold but refined cooking.
Yield: serves 4
For the Ravioli
- 3⁄4 cup flour
- 1⁄4 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 12 cooked crayfish tails, removed from shell (or 1/2 lb. lobster meat cut into 12 pieces)
For the Soup
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
- 3 medium leeks, white parts only, (2 chopped, 1 julienned)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 3⁄4 cup dry white wine
- 8 fresh or canned plum tomatoes, quartered
- 1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped
- 1⁄4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 piece star anise
- Pinch saffron, crumbled
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups fish stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 stalk celery, trimmed and julienned
- 4 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
- Mix flour, vinegar, and vegetable oil together in a bowl. Add enough water, about 3 tbsp., so that dough holds together. Knead dough on a floured work surface until smooth, 7-10 minutes. Divide dough in half, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Using a pasta maker, roll dough into two thin sheets. Lay one sheet on a floured work surface. Brush with water. Place crayfish tails on pasta at 3'' intervals, allowing a 1'' border. Lay second sheet of pasta over first. Trace around crayfish with your fingers, pressing gently to force out air and seal ravioli. Cut ravioli with a 2'' round cutter. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Cover with a damp towel.
- For the soup, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, chopped leeks, and garlic. Cook until leeks are soft, 5-7 minutes. Increase heat to medium, add 1⁄2 cup wine, and cook until reduced by half, 5-7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, fennel, cayenne, fennel seeds, star anise, saffron, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more. Add stock and simmer for 40 minutes. Strain, season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
- Heat remaining oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, then add julienned leeks and celery. Season with salt, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add remaining wine and 1⁄4 cup of water. Simmer until liquid has evaporated and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Keep warm.
- To assemble, cook ravioli in a pot of boiling salted water until they float, 3 minutes. Drain. Divide ravioli and julienned vegetables between 4 soup bowls. Ladle hot soup over ravioli. Garnish with chopped basil.