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Sole, Shrimp and Cider Soup



Ingredients for 6 servings:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

12 white mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 medium leeks, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced

1 bottle dry cider from Normandie

bouquet garni: 6 stems Italian parsley, 2 bay leaves, 2 stems fresh thyme

2 pounds sole (lemon, grey or Petrale) or halibut

18 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

12 oysters

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon Calvados or Cognac

¼ cup fresh chervil or parsley, minced



Heat the butter in a deep skillet.  Saute the mushrooms, carrots and leeks in the butter, stirring often, until they begin to color.  Add the bottle of cider and bring to a simmer.  Add the bouquet garni, cover and simmer slowly for 10 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Begin cooking the sole and shrimp in batches in the broth, lifting cooked pieces into a dish, covering with foil, and holding the oven.


Heat the oysters and white wine in a non-reactive pan, and cook until the edges of the mollusk begin to curl.  Add the oysters to the dish in the oven.  Pour the wine into the cider soup and reduce the broth by half over medium high heat.  Remove the bouquet garni and stir in the cream and Calvados.   Simmer briefly.. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Gently introduce the fish into the soup and cook another minute to reheat the fish.


Serve immediately with a sprinkling of chervil.