Raymond cooks

Simple Fish Soup

Simple Soup
Preparation time:
20 minutes
Cooking time:
45 minutes

A recipe from Raymond’s childhood, his fish soup is an aromatic and flavoursome dish like no other. This recipe calls for fish bones, which can be any rock fish bones, such as gurnard, red mullet or even prawn heads and shells. Or use the bones of flat fish, such as plaice, brill or turbot. Simply see what your fishmonger has in the shop. Don’t forget the fresh baguette for dipping and mopping…

  • Raymond Blanc with fish soup


    For the soup:
    • 50ml olive oil

    • 1 small onion, peeled and cut into 1cm dice

    • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1cm dice

    • ½ bulb fennel cut into 1cm dice

    • 4 garlic cloves, skin on, lightly crushed

    • 400g fish bones, chopped

    • 100g plum tomatoes, cut into 1cm dice

    • 2 sachets saffron powder

    • 2 tbsp tomato purée

    • 1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 4 thyme sprigs and 2 parsley stalks, tied together)

    • 100ml dry white wine

    • 750ml water

    • 2 tsp Pernod (optional)

    • salt and freshly ground pepper

    • 2 pinches cayenne pepper

  • Method

    For the fish soup:
    • In a large saucepan over a medium heat, warm the olive oil and gently sweat the onion, carrot, fennel and garlic for 4–5 minutes, without colouring.

    • Increase the heat to high, stir in the chopped fish bones, and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    • Add the chopped tomatoes, saffron and tomato purée and bouquet garni and sweat for a further 2 minutes.

    • Pour in the wine and bring to a vigorous boil. Pour in the water, add the Pernod if using, and bring back to a boil.

    • Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

    • Allow to cool slightly. Remove the bouquet garni. Then blend the soup in the Kenwood Chef blender attachment, in batches if necessary, for 3 seconds only – to pulverise the fish bones and other flavourings.

    • Now pour the soup through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, pressing with the back of a ladle to extract as much liquid as possible.

    To serve:
    • Reheat the soup, taste and correct the seasoning if required and divide the soup between four soup bowls. Garnish each serving with a generous drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil and – remember, remember! – a large crusty baguette.

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