Take the conger eel fillets and season with olive oil, black pepper and saffron. Place in a frying pan over a moderate heat adding more olive oil to the pan and fry the conger eel in a little olive oil for 2 -3 minutes on each side.
In another pan heat some olive oil and add the fennel, carrots, celery, shallots, garlic, star anise and cayenne pepper. Cook stirring over a medium heat for a few minutes. Next pour in the white wine and leave to reduce.
Remove the fish from the frying pan and add to the soup. Deglaze the conger eel pan with a little extra Pernod to catch all the cooking flavours and pour this into the soup as well.
Now add the fish stock, potatoes, fresh tomato, basil and parsley and cook out for 20 minutes. Finally transferring in batches into a blender blitz until smooth and strain back into the pan through a sieve to get rid of any unwanted bones.
Simmer for approximately 8 minutes and check for seasoning. Remove from the poaching liquid and divide amongst the four soup bowls. Serve immediately.
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