Our first night in Glasgow, dinner at the tiniest table ever!  Crabshakk table 11 in Finnieston.

We just spent 2 absolutely glorious weeks in Scotland, traveling from Glasgow through the Highlands, back down through Edinburgh and to Glasgow for (sadly) departure home.

I left home having spent the better part of 10 months working my arse off to lose 50lbs. I was determined that I wasn’t coming home with any added weight.  Figured IF I could “maintain” without gaining I’d be thrilled and ahead of the game.

To my surprise & delight I actually managed to lose another 3 pounds while I was away…whew!  I attribute this to TONS of walking everyday, wherever we were we literally parked the car, left it there and did everything on foot as much as possible.  And, the food, OH MY GOD the food!  This year Scotland celebrates the “Year Of Food & Drink” but honestly I don’t know how that could change from year to year, if the food is this spectacular this year I imagine it could only be better next year!  We stuck mainly to good quality eateries – no fast food – and most importantly fresh fish and seafood.

I was so inspired by almost every meal that I literally took pictures, tweeted, face booked, and catalogued every picture in my library by town, restaurant and dish had.  All of this further inspired me to try to continue eating like this when we returned home.  Henceforth, my version of a hearty tomato based fish & seafood soup.  I think I got it spot on first try!  Hubby and I were quite literally “humming” while eating and to quote my toughest critic (the aforementioned hubby) “Honey, this one is a winner”!

I hope your inspired to give it a go and if you do let me know how it turned out!

 Tomato fish & seafood soup

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 medium carrot, peeled & grated
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ tsp. kosher salt or sea salt
¼ to ½ tsp. hot pepper flakes
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 680ml. bottle (about 2 ¾ cups) passata (purreed tomatoes)
2 dried bay leaves
1 tbsp. dried basil
1 lb. salmon fillets, cut into chunks
1 lb. peeled shrimp
½ lb. scallops, cut in half if they’re very big
½ lb. mussels, scrubbed clean
¼ cup fresh chopped basil, chiffonade (sliced thinly) or fresh chopped parsley

–  Heat a heavy bottomed pot, add olive oil, onion, celery, carrot and garlic, salt and hot pepper flakes stirring often to “sweat” and soften vegetables, about 5 minutes, be careful not to burn

  • Turn heat down to medium, if you notice the pot getting dry add a little water or broth until vegetables are cooked
  • Add the broth and tomato passata and bring to a boil uncovered for a few minutes
  • Turn down to medium and add all the salmon, allow to cook for a minute or two
  • Add the shrimp and scallops, submerging them in the liquid, allow to cook for 1 minute
  • Add all the mussels and cover pot to steam for 1 minute.  Discard any “closed” mussels before serving
  • Remove pot from heat add half of the basil or parsley, gently stir pot to mix
  • Serve in big bowls with a sprinkling of more fresh basil or parsley on top
  • Serve with crusty bread, if desired

Chef Lorraine Powell, August 2015