We make this fabulous fish soup (stew) often when we have friends for dinner It’s great because you can do all your preparation beforehand, and that leaves you free to spend time with your guests. Here’s how we did it – and remember… you can vary ANY of these ingredients.
Serves 4 (with seconds)
- A good handful of shell-on prawns
- A good handful of shell-off prawns
- 3 or 4 large fillets of a meaty white fish such as mullet, pollock, or dorada – chopped into inch sized cubes
- Enough mussels (in shells) to allow 3 or 4 for each person
- (Or scrap all the shellfish, and buy one of those frozen paella packs with them all in – available from most supermarkets. We did and it only cost round €3.50)
- 2 tins of plum tomatoes (whole or chopped)
- Garlic (as much as you like – we like plenty!)
- Crushed chilli flakes, or chopped fresh chillies
- Mixed herbs
- 1 medium sized onion
- A large glass of wine or two to keep you going!
- Cover the base of a large saucepan with olive oil, and heat gently. Chop the onion finely, and cook it slowly until it turns translucent.
- Add the garlic (crushed or finely chopped), as well as some mixed herbs, and as much chilli as you can handle!
- Stir for a couple of minutes, but take care not to burn it. Then tip in the tinned tomatoes, juice an’ all!
- Crush the tomateos against the sides of the pan, and keep it simmering (stirring occasionally) for about half an hour until it resembles a sloppy sauce.
- Pour in about half a litre of water and bring to the boil. As soon as it hits boiling point, chuck in the meaty fish first… then five minutes later, throw in the paella pack, or all the shellfish.
- Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve with plenty of crusty bread – lovely!
We’ve done this a couple of times recently, and varied flavourings and quantities of the ingredients – it always works… but the shellfish are a real must! The fishy flavours infuse with the chillis and tomato to produce a really hearty soup. Oh, and don’t be shy about getting your fingers mucky when eating – it’s all part of the fun!
Pre cook the meaty fish in the oven first, and then chuck that in with the shellfish or paella pack 5 minutes before you’re due to serve – saving you more time that you can spend with friends.
You can even make the sauce well ahead of time, and then freeze in batches. Then simply reheat it gently, before chucking all the fish in.