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Anise-flavoured Seafood Stew


  • 1 kg rich, full flavoured Fish trimmed and emptied

  • 1 kg delicate Fish trimmed and emptied

  • 1 kg head and bones Fish rinsed

  • 4 L Water

  • 125 ml Olive Oil

  • 2 diced Onions

  • 2 large Leeks trimmed, cleaned, and sliced

  • 1 bulb of a Fennel peeled, trimmed, and chopped, with green fronds reserved

  • 6 Tomatoes seeded, peeled and diced

  • 4 Cloves Garlic minced

  • 1 bunch garni

  • 1.5 teaspoons fennel seeds

  • 2 Slices orange peel pith removed, preferably dried

  • 0.5 teaspoon Saffron crushed

  • Salt & Pepper

  • 1 Splash Pernod or white wine


  • 1.

    Chop the full-flavoured and delicate fish into large, bite-sized pieces and refrigerate (keeping the full-flavoured fish separate from the delicate).

  • 2.

    Put the rinsed fish heads and bones in a large soup pot, pour the water over, bring to a boil, and simmer twenty minutes.

  • 3.

    Strain, reserving the liquid.

  • 4.

    Heat the oil in the same pot and fry the onions, leeks, and fennel until soft, about 10 minutes.

  • 5.

    Add the tomatoes, garlic, bouquet garni, fennel seed, orange peel, and saffron.

  • 6.

    Season with salt and pepper.

  • 7.

    Pour over the fish stock, and simmer half an hour.

  • 8.

    Remove the bouquet garni and the orange peel.

  • 9.

    Bring the liquid to a rolling boil.

  • 10.

    Add the full-flavoured fish and cook 5 minutes.

  • 11.

    Add the delicate fish and the splash of Pernod and continue cooking until all the fish is tender, about 5 minutes longer.

  • 12.

    Ladle into warm soup plates, sprinkle irreverently with parsley if you like, and top with a rouille-smeared croƻte.

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