Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them, and cook up a feast.
Pete and Barb are taking a break from their own recipes for a few weeks. Instead, they're tailgating with Matt Jones, regional governor of the Slow Food Rocky Mountain region, and the creator of some of our December recipes. "Come rain or shine, Matt is always out there setting up a tent, a small wood grill, two propane burners and, of course, a bar at the Denver Bronco games," says Barb. "We had fish soup, ceviche and fish tacos, and for dessert, Matt took oranges that he'd peeled, sliced and flambéd in Grand Marnier and served them over Sarah Lee pound cake," Barb explains. Jones chooses his menu according to which team the Broncos are playing. When he put together this menu, the Broncos played the San Diego Chargers (ick), which was his inspiration for today's fish soup recipe.
Caramba Fish Soup
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2 potatoes, julienned (red and purple are good for color) 2 medium carrots, julienned 2 small chayotes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced 6 ounces Anaheim peppers, roasted, cooled, peeled and diced 1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped 1 large tomato, diced 4 cups fish stock (unsalted) 2 pounds filleted red snapper or equivalent sea fish cut into 3-4-ounce pieces (1 by 2 inches) 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves 1 or 2 Fresno peppers cut thinly into rounds 2 bay leaves 3 limes, halved Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
1. Place potatoes in a pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender but firm, about 10 minutes. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon and set aside. 2. Parboil potatoes, carrots, chayotes and green beans separately until tender. Reserve. 3. Place olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add jalapeños and onions and cook until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and chopped Anaheim peppers, increase heat to medium, and cook until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, and set aside. 4. Add two cups water to the fish stock in a large pot. Add cilantro and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. 5.Add vegetables, tomato mixture, and fish to pot and simmer over medium heat until fish turns opaque, about 7 minutes. 6. Serve with lime halves and Fresno peppers.