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Fish Soup with Saffron and Fennel

Categories: Entertaining
Type: Soups and Stews

A robust soup of assorted fish and shellfish partnered with Mediterranean flavorings

Prep Time: prep 10 mins

Cooking Time: cook 1 hr

Serves: makes 6-8 servings


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 1 small leek, white and pale green part only, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 / 4 tsp saffron threads, soaked in 1 tbsp hot water
  • 7 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  • grated zest of 1 / 2 orange
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 / 4 cup dry white wine
  • 2lb ( 900g) mussels, scrubbed and debearded if necessary
  • 1lb ( 500g) firm white fish fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • parsley, chopped, to garnish
Fish Soup with Saffron and Fennel photo

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  1. Heat the butter with 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the fennel, leek, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until the fennel is tender and pale gold.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and soaked saffron and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the stock, brandy, orange zest, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and skim the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. In a separate large saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil with the wine over high heat until the wine boils. Add the mussels and cover. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until all the mussels have opened. Transfer the mussels to a bowl and strain the cooking liquid into the soup.
  4. Add the fish and shrimp to the soup. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, until they are just opaque. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into deep soup bowls and add equal amounts of the mussels to each.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve hot.
  • prep 10 mins; cook 1 hr

excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

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