Spicy fish soup
Photo by Tam West
This dish uses as its basis the fish soup/stews that are found all around the Mediterranean. They lend themselves well to Kiwi ingredients. It is a bit like a Kiwi bouillabaisse of fish and mussels with harissa and slow fried vegetables. It can be prepared beforehand and finished in 10 minutes. Bought harissas are all of different strengths so I have specified the one that I used for this recipe. Otherwise adjust the flavour and spiciness of the soup to your taste. This is a hearty dish and can be used as a main course.
This recipe is part of Ray's mid-winter three-course dinner for six.
|24||Mussels, live, well scrubbed, beards removed|
|100 ml||Dry white wine|
|4 Tbsp||Extra virgin olive oil|
|1||Red onion, finely chopped|
|4 cloves||Garlic, finely chopped|
|1 medium||Carrot, peeled and diced 1cm|
|1 stick||Celery, thinly sliced|
|1 small||Fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced|
|4 Tbsp||Harissa paste, I used the Culley's brand|
|2 Tbsp||Tomato paste|
|300 g||White fish fillets, cut into 2cm pieces; choose a firm fleshed variety for this|
|2 Tbsp||Chopped parsley|
|2 Tbsp||Chopped coriander|
|6 servings||Flat bread, warmed|
- Put the mussels and wine into a saucepan over high heat. Cover and bring to the boil so they steam open, removing them as they do.
- Place the mussels in a bowl, cool and shell. Strain and reserve the cooking liquid. Pull the brown tongue and its white root (these are the tough bits) out of each mussel and discard.
- Slice the mussels thinly lengthways. Place in a bowl and pour the cooking liquid over them. Reserve.
- Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wide saucepan and add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, fennel and zest. Fry gently, without browning, for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the mussel liquid to the pan, reserving the sliced mussels. Add the water, harissa and tomato paste, bring to the boil and simmer 5 minutes. The soup can be prepared to this stage a day in advance if desired.
- Add the fish and simmer 2-3 minutes or until the fish is just cooked, add the reserved mussels, the parsley and coriander. Mix well, taste, season and serve with warm flatbread.
More Mid-Winter dinner party ideas from Ray