By Antonia Maguire
This simple recipe is based on the classic French Soupe De Poisson and contains lots of lovely veggies along side delicious fresh fish. Feel free to keep it chunky and rustic if you like - or blitz it down for a smooth consistency. Use any fish you like, though you'll need to cook mussels or clams in advance or buy them already prepared.
2 leeks washed, trimmed and chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 bulb of fennel, chopped
1 litre of fish stock (see instructions below if you'd like to make your own)
1 glass of white wine
500g mixed seafood - raw white filets, squid pieces, prawn, cooked mussels etc.
5 sprigs of basil
1 handful of chopped parsley
1/4 of a fresh red chilli, or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper
Garlic mayo to serve
For the stock (optional):
If you are going to a fishmongers, ask for a kilo of fish bones to make a fresh stock with. This is quite quick - taking only 30 mins or so of boiling. Simply add the bones and heads to a pan of water and boil with some chopped celery, carrot, onion, fresh herbs and the outside leaves of the fennel from this recipe. Don't disturb the stock as it's boiling and don't over do it, as the stock can taste bitter. Add a pinch of salt and some black peppercorns too. When it's ready, simply strain and then add back to the rinsed out pan and reduce down. You will need about a litre for this recipe. Alternately a good quality fish stock cube will do!
1. Assemble all the veg and garlic and make up the stock.
2. Gently heat some olive oil in a large pan and start to add all the veggies except the tomatoes, in handfuls. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, herbs, chilli, wine and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 mins.
4. When the veggies are soft, use a stick blender to blitz to a smooth soup - or leave it a little chunky for texture.
5. Chop the seafood up into chunks. Reheat the soup and gently add the pieces in. Be careful not to mix too well as you want the pieces to stay relatively firm. Cook at a rolling simmer for 5 minutes, making sure the seafood is immersed.
6. Check the seasoning, and then serve piping hot in warmed bowls, floating a dollop of garlic mayo on the top, along with another squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of parsley. Enjoy!