As our days get shorter and our sleeves get longer, the inevitable chill that slowly pales the amber California summer creeps in. While we can’t control the temperature outside, we can decide to use this shivering season to our advantage. Fight the frigid with flavor...like that from halibut—light and fresh, and deliciously simple. Its charred, sweet, and citrus hints are the perfect compliments to the bold and smoky Rojo Legume Soup that will raise your spirits as well as your temperature.
Cast Iron Halibut & Smoked Legume Rojo Soup | Serves: 4-5 | Time: 40m
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced fine
- 1/2 shallot, diced fine
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 5 each tomatoes, diced
- 1/3 cup red lentils
- 1teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground peppercorns
- 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
- 1 cup kidney beans
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound fresh halibut filet
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about five minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, paprika and cumin; cook, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't brown, about two minutes more.
Whisk in the broth, diced tomatoes, red lentils, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for approximately ten minutes.
Add the garbanzo beans, cover the pot, and cook ten minutes more. Remove the bay leaves, then transfer two cups of the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. Add the puréed soup back to the pot and stir. Add the kidney beans and let the soup simmer while you prepare the halibut.
Using a mixing bowl, combine the butter, honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, pepper, and garlic. Whisk until smooth.
Portion the halibut with a sharp knife into three or four pieces (around 5oz each) and then brush both sides of each with the glaze.
Heat a cast iron skillet until it begins to sizzle. Sear the halibut for a minute and a half on each side. Reduce the heat to medium and cook each side for an additional two minutes.
Ladle soup into a bowl, brush the halibut filet once more with the glaze and plate atop soup. Garnish with a lemon wheel and fresh rosemary.
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About the Chef:
My creativity became my way of life early on. Being gay in a very religious family in the Bible Belt ensured that, for the first 25 years of my life, being two people would be impossible without it. In short, I went to UNCG, where I focused more on performing in the area Stand-Up Comedy Clubs every week than I did academics (My BAC was arguably higher than my GPA when I graduated). From there, the very first episode of Hell’s Kitchen had me convinced I wanted to be a chef.
Cast Iron Revival and Unktchn are two projects I’m working on, showcasing the versatility of the skillet with dishes such as “cast-iron blackened, marinated alligator” with grits! I have no desire to become a celebrity chef, just enjoy what I do.