A nice dinner idea for Lent; Catfish Stew

• 1  tablespoon unsalted butter
• 3  tablespoons bacon fat
• 1-1/2  cups finely diced onion
• 1/4  cup finely diced shallot
•1  tablespoon minced garlic
• 3/4  teaspoon dried thyme
• 1-3/4  teaspoons salt, divided
• 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1-1/2  cups small new potatoes, sliced 1/3 inch thick
• 2  small ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
• 1/2  cup dry white wine
• 2-1/2  pounds Catfish fillet, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
• 1/2  teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/4  cup thinly sliced green scallions (white and 2 inches green)

In a heavy saucepan heat the butter and bacon fat until foaming.  Add the diced onion and shallot; cook and stir for 5 minutes.  Toss the garlic, thyme and 1-1/4 teaspoon of the salt into the pan, and cook 5 minutes longer.  Add the sliced carrots and potatoes; cook and stir for 5 minutes.  Add the chopped tomatoes, white wine, and 8 cups water; bring to a simmer.  Simmer, skimming the surface occasionally, until the potatoes and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, season the catfish pieces liberally with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper.  When potatoes are tender, add the seasoned catfish, parsley and scallions to the saucepan.  Cook, partially covered, at a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.  Taste for seasoning, adding additional salt and black pepper as desired.

Yield:  8 servings