Quite simply the finest fish soup I’ve tasted this side of Marseilles – Felicity Cloake, Guardian Cook, January 2014
To me holiday always means two things. Sea and food. Travelling overseas is always inspiring with the food culture of another nation really bringing it to life in so many ways, and so often this is wonderfully reflected in dishes from the sea. Classics like Bouillabaisse, seafood paella and soupe de poisson really capture the essence of the maritime surroundings and evoke wonderful memories. Therefore it’s ironic that this year I holidayed where so much of the seafood that finds it way into these continental staples comes from. Scotland. With this in mind my comforting broth is filled with memories of heady Mediterranean flavours using fresh Scottish fish and shellfish found while camping on the Wester Ross coast. The beauty being you can simply choose whatever is fresh and seasonal from the fishmonger.
Serves 2 as a main meal or 4 as a starter
6 Squat lobsters
3 shallots finely chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
Knob of butter and olive oil for frying
1 heaped tsp smoked sweet paprika
1 sprig rosemary chopped
2 ripe tomatoes finely chopped
1 glass dry white wine
150g Saithe (Coley) fillet – chopped into 2” chunks
1 sprig dill chopped
Handful parsley chopped
Juice of half a lemon
1. Remove the heads from the langoustines and squats. Cover them with the 400ml cold water plus ½ tsp sea salt and simmer covered for an hour to make stock;
2. Sweat the shallots and garlic in the butter and a good drizzle of olive oil to soften without colouring. Add the rosemary and stir through for 30 seconds and then the paprika for another 30 seconds.
3. Add the tomatoes and a splash of white wine to loosen then cook down to form a paste;
4. Pour the stock through a sieve into the tomato paste. Add half glass white wine and cook through for 10 minutes. Correct for seasoning;
5. Add the saithe and cook for 3 minutes then the langoustines and squat lobsters for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover.
6. In a separate pan cook the cockles and mussels. Heat a little oil, pour in the shellfish and a good splash of white wine. Cover and cook for 4 minutes. When cooked remove the mussels from their shells and add to the broth and add the cockles whole along with the cooking liquor.
7. Stir through the dill, add the lemon juice. Correct for seasoning and serve topped with parsley.
Featured in Guardian Recipe Swap Recipes of 2013
Photo credit Sumayya Usmani