Waterzooi, a Belgian fish soup with leeks, carrots, wine and eggs
The element that makes this soup different that any other type of soup I’ve ever made is that it uses egg yolks to add to the creaminess. By tempering the eggs, when blended when cream (or in my case, 2% milk), the broth is deliciously smooth without the heaviness that would come from a cream-only base. Interesting approach, methinks.
The vegetable base had me once again using leeks. I swear, since starting this project a month ago, I’ve never eaten so many leeks and I honestly didn’t’ know what I was missing. I’m a leek convert! As for the rest of the veggies, it lends itself to variation the way that American-style chicken soup does: carrots, potatoes, peas, celery- whatever floats your boat. I think that fish stock would be the best and significantly add to the flavor, and luckily I had some lobster stock in the freezer from my Lobster Chowder, so I just used that. However, if you don’t have any fish or seafood based stock, chicken would work just as well. Anything, in my opinion, is better than using water alone.
The most time consuming aspect of this recipe is the prep- chopping all the veggies. Once that’s done, the soup itself takes about 30 minutes.
I also ate it with a very simple Belgian endive salad, not pictured, but recipe down below.
- 3 TB butter
- 4 medium leeks, trimmed, white and pale green parts only, julienned
- 2 carrots, peeled, trimmed, and shredded
- 2 shallots, peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups fish stock
- 3/4 TB dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds total boneless, skinless halibut and cod cut into 1" cubes
- 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
- 3 egg yolks
- Leaves from 8 sprigs parsley, chopped
- Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, and shallots and cook until slightly soft, 3–5 minutes. Add wine, stock, thyme, bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until vegetables are soft, 10–15 minutes. Add fish and poach until cooked through, 6–8 minutes.
- Whisk milk and egg yolks together in a medium bowl. Gradually add 1 cup of the hot broth from pot, whisking constantly, then stir hot milk mixture back into pot. Heat stew until hot (do not allow to boil; it will curdle) Adjust seasonings. Garnish with parsley.
- 2 Belgian endives, washed and cut at an angle
- ½ cup carrot, shredded
- 1 tart apple, diced into 1” chunks
- 1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 2 TB salad oil
- 1 TB lemon juice
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- Mix the dry stuff.
- Mix the wet stuff.
- Cover the dry stuff with the wet stuff.