A to Z Recipes
Water Souchet
Water Souchet is a fish soup utilising the catch from the River Thames in London. It comes from the Dutch 'waterzootje'. Perhaps it was introduced to London in the seventeenth century, when William III of Orange was on the throne. It was about this time, after all, that the Dutch-born king passed laws to encourage the English production of Dutch geneva, or gin, which soon became the favourite drink of London.

INGREDIENTS: White fish bones, skin and heads - 450 g (1 lb), for stock, Water - 600 ml (1 pint), White wine - 150 ml (* pint), Salt, Black peppercorns -12, Parsley - large bunch, chopped, Fresh herbs - 1 bouquet, Bay leaf - 1, Fillets of whiting or plaice - 450 g (1 lb), cut into pieces, Lemon - 1.

COOKING: 1. Place the fish trimmings in a large pan and add the water, wine and salt. Bring to the boil and skim.
2. Add the peppercorns, most of the parsley, fresh herbs and bay leaf. Simmer for 40 minutes.
3. Strain through a fine sieve and reserve the liquid.
4. Place the fish fillets in a clean pan and add the strained stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
5. Serve some fish in each warmed soup bowl. Add the juice of half the lemon to the stock and adjust the seasoning.
6. Pour over the fish and decorate each bowl with a slice of lemon and the remaining chopped parsley.