A deeply satisfying dish of fresh mixed seafood and assorted vegetables seasoned with bay leaf, thyme and fennel.


  • 1 small gurnard or grey mullet, weighing about 450g/1lb

  • 1 red mullet, weighing about 350g/12oz

  • 1 small monkfish tail, weighing about 450g/1lb

  • 100g/4oz prepared squid

  • 20 small mussels, cleaned

  • 150ml/5fl oz white wine

  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed

  • 1 red onion, peeled

  • 1 leek

  • 2 celery sticks

  • 1 red pepper

  • 5 plum tomatoes, skined

  • 6 small new potatoes weighing about 175g/6oz in total

  • 120ml/4fl oz olive oil

  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

  • 2 strips of orange zest, cut into very thin shreds

  • a good pinch of dried chilli flakes

  • 2 tsp sun-dried tomato paste

  • 2 young, fresh bay leaves, shredded finely

  • leaves from 1 sprig of fresh thyme, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh fennel herb or dill

  • 3 tbsp Pernod or Ricard

  • salt

  • 20 turns of the black pepper mill

  • extra virgin olive oil, coarse sea salt and sliced ciabatta or fresh bread, to serve


  • 1.

    Fillet the gurnard or grey mullet, red mullet and monkfish. Make a fish stock with the bones, using 2.75L/5pt of water.

  • 2.

    Cut the squid lengthways along one side of the pouch and open it out. Cut the squid and the fish fillets lengthways into strips 2cm/¾in wide, then cut across each strip into slices 1cm/½in wide. All the pieces of fish should be the same size and shape.

  • 3.

    Put the mussels in a pan with a splash of white wine, cover and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until they have opened. Discard any that remain closed.

  • 4.

    Strain the mussel cooking liquor into the fish stock, then shell the mussels, discarding the shells.

  • 5.

    Cut the fennel bulb and red onion into 6-8 wedges so that each wedge measures about 2cm.¾in at its thickest part.

  • 6.

    Cut the leek lengthways into quarters and the celery sticks lengthways in half.

  • 7.

    Cut the red pepper lengthways into strips 2cm/¾in wide and the tomatoes and potatoes lengthways into 4 wedges. Then cut each of the vegetables across into thin, arc-like slices, making sure that they are all roughly the same size and shape - this is very important to the final look of the soup.

  • 8.

    Heat the olive oil in a large pan - if you have a suitable oven-to-table one, this would be ideal. Otherwise just use a large saucepan and transfer the soup to a tureen to serve.

  • 9.

    Add the fennel, red onion, leek, celery, red pepper, garlic, orange zest and dried chilli.

  • 10.

    Cook over a low heat for about 4 minutes, until the vegetables are just softened. Add the sun-dried tomato paste, fish stock, remaining white wine, tomatoes, potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

  • 11.

    Add the fish, plus the bay leaves, thyme, half the fennel herb or dill and the Pernod or Ricard. Simmer for 3 minutes only (otherwise you will overcook the fish), adding the mussels for the final 30 seconds.

  • 12.

    Sprinkle the soup with the remaining fennel or dill and take to the table, together with little bowls of extra virgin olive oil and coarse sea salt and the bread. Serve in large soup plates and instruct your guests to dip the bread in the oil and then the salt to eat the soup.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

  • Energy 1251kj
  • Fat Total 56g
  • Saturated Fat 12g
  • Protein 154g
  • Carbohydrate 17g
  • Sugar 4g
  • Sodium 2409mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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