Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Seafood and Fennel Soup

 This soup recipe has a wonderful combination of flavours, from the tomato and orange, and the fennel complimenting the fish perfectly.  It makes a great starter for dinner parties, and goes great with crunchy croutons - the instructions for which I've also included below.


500g White fish - I used Colley, but Cod will do, or anything else along those lines
300g Mussels
1 Bulb of Fennel 
2 Leeks
1 Onion
1 Large Carrot
1 Stalk of Celery
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
50g Tomato Puree
1.5l Fish Stock
Juice of 1 Orange (freshly squeezed)
1tsp Oregano
2tsp Tarragon
2tsp Parsley
1tsp Cayenne Pepper

Heat some oil in a large pan.   To this add the leeks, onion, carrot, celery, fennel and garlic, all finely chopped and sweat until they become pale and soft, but don't allow them to brown.

Next add the tomatoes and tomato puree.  Stir in the fish, chopped into chunks, and then add the stock, orange juice and finely chopped fresh herbs, along with the cayenne pepper.  Cover the pan and let the soup slowly come to the boil.  Once it's there, simmer until the fish starts to fall apart.

Add the mussels at the end and allow them to cook through - this won't take long, then season to taste and serve

If you want to make this soup a little more indulgent, use white wine instead of some of the stock, add a splash of Pernod at the end, or even a few strands of saffron

The Croutons

Simply heat the oven to 180 degrees, then take a baguette and slice it into 2cm square cubes, put on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season, then put the tray in the oven for 20-25 mins, until the bread is a wonderful golden color, then sprinkle with a little grated parmesan and serve.

This is a great accompaniment to all sorts of soups, and when they soak up the liquid, you get a fantastic mixture of crunchy and gooey all at the same time


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