Judge Porter's Cane River Fish Soup
PREP TIME: 45 Minutes

Typical fish soups in this part of the country often begin with a brown roux and are flavored with tomatoes and spices such as our redfish courtbouillon. This recipe is a much needed twist from the original because it's easier to make and definitely unique in flavor.


  • 12 (21-25 count) shrimp, head-on
  • 2 pounds redfish, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 dozen clams
  • 1 dozen mussels
  • 1 dozen oysters
  • 6 whole crawfish
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 3 tbsps flour
  • 2 quarts (8-8 ounce bottles) clam juice
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste

In a cast iron Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic and carrots. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Sprinkle in flour and, using a wire whisk, stir constantly until white roux is achieved (see roux techniques). Add clam juice, bring to a rolling boil and reduce to simmer. Cook soup 10-12 minutes or until carrots are al dente. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, tomato sauce, bay leaf, thyme and tarragon. Continue to cook 5 additional minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes then add fish. Take care when stirring the soup since the tender fish will break apart easily. Add clams, mussels, oysters and crawfish. Cook an additional 2 minutes or until clams and mussels open. Add green onions and parsley and season to taste using salt, pepper and hot sauce. To serve, place an equal portion of the seafood in each bowl and top with broth. Serve with French bread or garlic croutons. I recommend serving a Pinot Noir or Beaujolais wine with this soup.

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