Fragrant seafood bowl
( SERVES 8 )
The Scandinavians use a lot of saffron in their special-occasion baking and it is also wonderful in risotto, paella, mashed potatoes, tomato-based sauces, seafood poultry and beef stews. A few threads of saffron completely transform this soup.
The classic accompaniment to Bouillabaisse, spicy, creamy Rouille makes delicious dunking for bread as well as a topping for croûtons.
- To make the Rouille, purée the potato, garlic, chillies, egg yolk, paprika and olive oil, adding salt to taste. Cover and chill for up to three days until needed.
- Heat the oil in a large pot and gently cook the leeks, onion and fennel, stirring now and then until they are clear and soft but not brown (about 15 minutes). Add tomato paste and sizzle for a couple of minutes. Add garlic, bay leaves, whole chillies, tomatoes, vermouth or wine, honey and saffron and cook for 20 minutes over a low heat.
- Add the fish stock and potatoes, bring back to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are nearly cooked through (10-15 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste. The soup can be cooked ahead to this stage, chilled until needed and brought back to a simmer to finish at the last minute.
- Five minutes before serving, add mussels, if using, cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Then add prawns, if using, and fish and simmer for another 2-3 minutes until the seafood is cooked and the mussels open. Discard any mussels that don’t open. Lift out and discard bay leaves and chillies. Divide soup between heated soup bowls. Spread Rouille on croutons, float some in the soup and serve the rest on the side.
See more of Annabel's recipes with saffron