Texas had a brief glimpse of spring last week but cold temperatures have returned for another round of wintry days. I’m not complaining though because now I have a good reason to make this soup. Soup is my ultimate comfort food and this is one of my favorites. The broth is seasoned with fish sauce, pineapple juice, and a touch of fresh lime juice for a nice balance of sweet and savory. The fish sauce will seem overpowering when you first add it, but don’t worry – it will become more mellow as you cook it and add the other ingredients.
This is really an all-season soup. It is perfect in winter when you want something warm and satisfying but the tomatoes and pineapple chunks make it refreshing in the spring.
- 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
- 7-8 ounces mild white fish, cut into large chunks (I use tilapia)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 cups cooked rice vermicelli noodles or white rice
- Fresh lime juice, for serving
- Fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
- Drain pineapple juice into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough water to measure 2 cups of liquid. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add scallions and fish and cook until fish is lightly browned and just cooked through. Transfer fish to a plate and set aside.
- To saucepan, add 3 tablespoons fish sauce and cook until reduced by half, scraping to loosen any browned bits, about 2 minutes. Add pineapple juice mixture, 2 cups of water, pineapple chunks, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes until tomatoes are cooked through. Return fish to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Simmer another minute.
- To serve, divide noodles or rice among four soup bowls. Ladle hot soup over noodles, add a good squeeze of lime juice, and sprinkle with cilantro and scallions. Serve with additional fish sauce to taste, if desired.
Be sure to use the canned pineapple chunks in juice and not the kind in heavy syrup.