The Bookbinder Red Snapper Soup

The Bookbinder Red Snapper Soup

bookbinder soup

The Bookbinder soup has been serve in the United States since 1893, Samuel Bookbinder, a Jewish immigrant from Netherland, who started the Old Original Bookbinder Restaurant in Philadelphia. It is a tomato based soup, consisting of a host of stewed vegetables. Snapping turtle is the usually used in the preparation. Thus the soup is often referred to as the Snapper soup at the Old Original Bookbinder Restaurant. It has been more than 100 years that this preparation is served at the restaurant. 

We however use red snapper fillets. Read on ahead and discover for yourself the recipe for this vintage American preparation.

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The Bookbinder Soup - Recipe

Ingredients Required

  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Stalk of 2 celery fine chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, fine chopped
  • 1 large onion, fine chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, fine chopped
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 10-12 whole black peppercorn, coarsely crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoon pureed tomato
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme, fine chopped
  • 2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, fine chopped
  • 2 teaspoon fresh cilantro, fine chopped
  • 8-10 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoon salt free butter
  • 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • Salt as per taste

For Snapper

  • 2 small onions, fine chopped
  • 2 celery stalk, fine chopped
  • 2 fillets of red snapper
  • 1/4 cup sherry wine

Procedure of Preparation

  • The first step is to prepare the soup base. Heat the olive oil in a pot. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bell peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes over a high flame with constant stirring.
  • Add peppercorns, bay leaf, tomato puree, thyme, rosemary and cilantro. Mix completely. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add about 7 cups of vegetable stock, and bring it to a boil and let it simmer over a low flame.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Cook for about 4 minutes over a medium flame with constant stirring.
  • Slowly stir in 1 cup of stock and mix until the roux attains a smooth consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Add the roux to soup base, and cook for about 20 minutes with constant stirring.
  • Strain the soup, discard the solid and keep aside the broth.
  • Heat water in a pot and bring it to boil. Add onions and celery and cook over a high flame until they turn soft.
  • Remove the onions and celery from the boiling water and add to the soup broth.
  • Cook the fish in the same boiling water. Make sure that the fish is evenly cooked throughout.
  • Remove fish from water and use a fork to break it into fine pieces.
  • Stir in the snapper with sherry.
  • Serve hot.

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