Serve up a splendid Mediterranean dish with Frank Bordoni's magnificent fish stew, flavoured with saffron, herbs and tomatoes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the fish stock

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large leek, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 bulbs fennel, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 450 g very ripe tomatoes
  • 3 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 kg mixed small rock fish
  • 3 litres boiling water
  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 1 pinches black pepper

For the soup

  • 2 kg mixed fish and seafood, such as gurnard, eel, bream, John Dory monkfish, snapper, mullet, bass, prawns and mussels
  • 500 g waxy potatoes, such as Desiree, peeled and cut into barrels
  • 3 pinches strands saffron
  • 1 pinches black pepper


1. First make the fish stock, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat.

2. Add the leek, onion, celery, fennel, garlic, tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf, and fry very gently, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened (around 5 minutes). Take care not to let the mixture burn or the stock will taste bitter.

3. Add the assorted rock fish, boiling water and white peppercorns. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

4. Pass the stock through a sieve and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

5. To make the soup, place the potatoes, fish stock and saffron threads in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the potatoes are nearly cooked.

6. Add the assorted fish to the saucepan and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the fish is tender. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

7. To serve, ladle the fish soup into a bread bowl or serving bowl and serve at once with aioli or rouille.

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