Start with a little homemade herbed-chicken stock, bring to a lively simmer, toss in some cooked noodles, add tarragon, capers, fresh basil, and finish it with chunks from the tail-end of a salmon fillet and a glob of homemade creme fraiche. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper and a dash of chili sauce for sparkle. It’s just that simple and soul satisfying served for a light supper with crunchy French bread and a glass of wine.
To make the chicken stock, be frugual and use the carcass of a roasted chicken with all the bones, wings tips and back meat. Add roughly chopped celery, onion, leek and carrot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Add a splash or 2 of white wine or vermouth, and sprigs of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Let simmer for at least 1 hour. The longer it cooks the richer the flavor. Cool and refrigerate the entire stockpot contents overnight. Skim solidified fat from the top surface, warm slightly and strain. Discard solids and pour strained stock into freezer safe containers to store.
If you buy a whole fillet of salmon, cut 2-inch-wide slices for grilling from the main section of the fillet. There is always the thin section towards the tail that can be skinned and used in soups, casseroles, kabobs and more. Be sure to remove any bones from the thick slices. A pair of tweezers works well for this task.