Red gurnard soup with Croatian olive oil


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Red gurnard soup


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Fillet the fish, allowing two fillets per person, and set aside in the fridge. If asking your fishmonger to do this for you, ensure they also give you the bones from the fish
Arrange the bones on an oven tray, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and place in the oven for 20–30 minutes until the bones are dry, roasted and browned
At the same time, arrange the onions, carrots, pepper, chilli and garlic on a separate tray, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until golden and caramelised, for around 30 minutes
Meanwhile, arrange the tomatoes on a separate tray and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pop them in the oven at the same time as the vegetables and fish bones and cook for 30 minutes
Place all the roasted ingredients in a large pan with the tomato purée, bay, rosemary, orange zest and orange juice
Add enough water to just cover and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour
Remove from the heat and pass through a moulis or food mill. Alternatively, mash all the ingredients thoroughly with the back of a ladle or meat mallet and pass through a colander, pressing through as much liquid from the fish bones and vegetables as possible
Using a high-power blender, blitz the strained liquid for 3–4 minutes to achieve a super smooth consistency
Pass through a fine sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper
Remove the fish from the fridge to come up to room temperature while you make the gremolata
Using a sharp knife, peel the lemons, remove any white pith, and chop the zest finely. Chop the garlic and rosemary to the same consistency and combine with the olive oil in a small bowl
When you’re ready to cook the fish, place a large non-stick pan on a medium-high heat. Add a dash of olive oil to the pan and season the skin lightly with salt. Place each fillet skin-side down and hold down firmly to ensure an even cooking of the skin
Leave to cook for 2–3 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and turn the fillets over to cook though in the residual heat
Heat the soup up and divide evenly between bowls. Add two fillets per person and finish with a generous drizzle of the rosemary gremolata
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