Water Souchet Recipe

Water Souchet Recipe

Water souchet is a traditional French fish stew that dates back to the medieval times. It originated as a humble dish made by fishermen using the leftover fish they caught. Over time, it became a popular dish among coastal communities in France and eventually spread to other parts of Europe.

Fun Facts:
- The word "souchet" is derived from the French word "souche," which means stump or base. It refers to the leftover fish bones used to make the broth for the stew.
- Water souchet was traditionally cooked in large batches and served to the entire fishing community, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie.
- The use of various vegetables provides a wholesome and nutritious meal, making water souchet a popular dish among fisherman families.


- 6 small fish (of different kinds)
- Vegetables (1 carrot, 1 small turnip, 1 onion, a small piece of celery)
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon juice
- Chopped parsley
- Brown bread and butter
- 2 quarts of cold water
- 1 dozen peppercorns
- Fagot of herbs (bundle of herbs tied together)


1. Start by filleting the small fish of different kinds. Save half of the fillets for the souchet and use the remaining fillets for another dish.

2. Place the fish bones in a large pot with 2 quarts of cold water and a teaspoonful of salt. Bring it to a boil and remove any scum that rises to the surface.

3. Add the peppercorns, carrot, turnip, onion, celery, and fagot of herbs to the pot. Keep the vegetables whole for now.

4. Boil the mixture together for one hour to extract the flavors from the bones and vegetables. This will create a flavorful broth for the souchet.

5. Once the broth is ready, strain it through a hair sieve and return it to the saucepan. Wash and slice the boiled vegetables, then add them back to the broth.

6. Cut the fish fillets reserved for the souchet into small pieces and add them to the broth along with the vegetables. Simmer the mixture for another half an hour to cook the fish thoroughly.

7. Season the souchet with a little lemon juice to enhance the flavors. Stir gently to incorporate the lemon juice into the broth.

8. Transfer the souchet into a tureen and sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top for garnish.

9. Serve the water souchet with slices of brown bread and butter on the side. It pairs well with the stew and complements the flavors.

10. For a refreshing touch, provide slices of lemon for squeezing over the souchet, adding a hint of tanginess to the dish.

Similar Recipe Dishes:
- Bouillabaisse: A traditional Provençal fish stew from Marseille, France, made with various types of fish and seafood.
- Cioppino: A seafood stew originating from the Italian-American community in San Francisco, made with a combination of fresh fish, shellfish, tomatoes, and herbs.
- Caldeirada: A Portuguese fisherman's stew made with different types of fish, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and herbs.
- Zuppa di Pesce: An Italian fish stew typically made with a variety of fish and seafood, cooked in a flavorful broth with garlic, tomatoes, and white wine.

Enjoy your homemade Water Souchet, a comforting and flavorsome dish that celebrates the tradition and history of French coastal cuisine!



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