The fall feels like it is rolling in. My plants hate this quick temperature drop. Everyone and everything around me is in need of some comfort food.
Usually when people describe comfort food, I hear of mac and cheese, casseroles, meatloaf, and other delicious items. When I think of comfort food, I think of what I grew up with... fish soup. My mother made the most delicious one but it used a full head of fish, many vegetables, an enormous pot, and many hours of labor.
She would start around 9 am procuring the ingredients but the fish soup would take the whole day to make and cook down. It was always ready by dinner time and it was perfect. I wish I had the energy, strength, and courage to make a dish like that. But very honestly, I don't....not A not B, and definitely not C.
Therefore, to make what I call comfort food, I had to use quick and easy ingredients working towards the flavor and taste of comfort. I am impressed with the result. I am impressed with the taste. I am almost certain that my mother would be proud but that is less important. I am proud of the end result. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
1-2 Tilapia filets
3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 red onion, sliced or diced
6-8 large shrimp, cooked and frozen
1/4 cup diced Smoked Turkey Sausage (I used Butterball)
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1 pinch of dried Mediterranean Oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
dash of Creole Seasoning (not particularly necessary)
1 tbsp tomato sauce or tomato paste
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
dash of ground black pepper
(1) In a medium sauce pan, sprayed with olive oil, saute red onion on medium heat, until browned.
(2) In a medium-sized pot, saute celery and red bell pepper until wilted. Add onions to this dish.
(3) Add 1 cup of water to the pot and bring to a boil.
(4) In the medium sauce pan, add the fennel seeds, turning occasionally to brown.
(5) In the pot with the vegetables, add the remaining seasonings: thyme, oregano, creole seasoning, mustard, garlic powder, black pepper, and ketchup, followed by the tomato paste.
(6) When the pot begins to boil, add the tilapia and shrimp. This will extract a lot of shellfish flavor.
(7) Lastly add the diced sausage that is already cooked. I used a type that is fully cooked to save myself the time.
(8) Bring this to a simmer, leaving the lid off to allow the soup to reduce (approximately 8-10 minutes).
Serve and enjoy. This a delicious, hearty dish that provides both nourishment and energy. Definitely something great to savor when the temperature begins to drop. Sit back and enjoy.