Luxury Culinary Holidays


Joe's Fish Stew

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Joe's Fish Stew

Joe Hunt, who teaches at our Kitchen Skills week, made this wonderful fish soup the last time he was here in Puglia. So full of flavour and goodness, adapt the recipe for what fish you have available.

Serves 2


• 100g fresh mussels
• 4 clams
• 2 gurnard fillets
• 1 large or 2 small white fish fillets such as hake or coley
• ½ squid tube, cleaned
• 300ml fish stock & 100ml white wine mixed together
• Prawn shells or fish heads for extra flavour if you like.
• ½ tin peeled plum tomatoes
• 6 cherry tomatoes
• 1 small onion or ½ large onion
• 3 cloves garlic
• ½ bulb fresh fennel
• ½ stick celery
• pinch of saffron
• olive oil for frying
• pinch dried chilli flakes
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 tsp. tomato puree
• pinch of caster sugar
• chopped flat leaf parsley to garnish


1. Finely chop the celery, onion, fennel and garlic and sweat off in a saucepan with 2 tbsp. olive oil, the bay leaf & the chilli flakes and the prawn shells if using, until the vegetables are sweet and tender, add the tomato purée and cook out, it will turn darker when it is ready. Now add the tinned tomatoes and stir well, simmer gently.
2. Scrub the mussels and clams under cold running water and place in a bowl. Slice the squid into rings and chop the fish fillets in ½ if large.
3. Heat another saucepan without any oil and add the fish stock and white wine it will spit so be careful.
4. Now add the mussels and clams and bring to the boil. Cook until the clams and mussels have just opened and then strain them through a sieve reserving the cooking liquor.
5. Place the liquor into the pan with the tomato sauce and add the saffron strands. You should now have a fishy tomato soup, set the shellfish aside to cool. Pick the meat from ¾ of the mussels and leave the clams in their shells.
6. In a liquidizer blitz the soup in batches and pass through a sieve to remove the ground up prawn shells, taste and season the soup as necessary.
7. The stew can be set aside and chilled until ready to use at this stage or finished as below if being served straight away.
8. To serve, heat the soup base through until simmering, add the fish pieces and cook for 3 minutes, now add the squid and cook for a further 2 minutes put the shellfish into the soup, stir once and season to taste, serve in warm bowls scattered with chopped flat leaf parsley and drizzled with olive oil crusty bread on the side.

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