This fish soup is a one dish meal!
The simplicity of cooking this soup is contrasted with the complexity of its flavours. It celebrates the sweetness of the fish and the prawns, they will melt in your mouth!
I love making this soup and it is my take on a Bouillabaisse or a Bourride from Provence. This recipe is different in the sense that I use the variety of fish and prawns as the main ingredients, using whatever fish I can find in whichever country I am living. I have been an expat wife for over 30 years and living an expat life has taught me to adapt and improvise.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 30g butter
- 2 leeks
- 1/2 large red chilli, seeds removed, sliced into small strips
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 red pepper, remove seeds and chop into medium size pieces.
- 2 medium size tomatoes, chopped into medium size pieces.
- 1 onion chopped into small pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- a strip of orange zest
- a pinch of saffron threads, dissolved in 1/2 a cup of warm water
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 2 cups fish stock
- sea salt, sugar and freshly ground pepper to taste
- a handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2kg mixed fish fillets of choice (red snapper and sea bream), cut in small pieces, bones removed
- 1/2kg tiger prawns, do not remove the shells.
- cooked baby potatoes, with the skin or without. It is up to you.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan.
- Add the leeks and cook until softened.
- Add the chillies, garlic, bay leaf, fennel, orange zest, red pepper, tomatoes, and onion. Cook on a medium heat, stirring for three to five minutes.
- Remove the orange zest and bay leaf.
- Blend the mixture until it is soft and smooth. Put it back on the stove.
- Add the wine and let the alcohol evaporate.
- Add the saffron water, and bring the mixture to the boil.
- Add the fish stock and bring to the boil once again.
- Season and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes.
- Strain the mixture using a colander. You should have a clear broth.
- Add the cooked baby potatoes and simmer the soup for three minutes.
- Add the chopped parsley.
- Then add the fish (adding the firm-fleshed varieties first) and cook over high heat for a few minutes or until the fish is opaque (it means the fish pieces are cooked).
- Add the prawns and place the lid on the pot.
- Cook the prawns until they are pink.
- Serve the soup as soon as it has boiled in beautiful soup bowls and sprinkle each bowl with chopped parsley and chopped chives.
- Serve the soup with slices of toasted sourdough.
- Clean the fish well, remove all bones and cut into medium size pieces.
- It is important to remove the bay leaf and orange peal before you blend the mixture, otherwise the stock will be bitter.
- Serve the soup as soon as the prawns are ready, both the fish and prawns will be soft and juicy.