Fish Stew

For a hearty, warming supper try Sophie Grigson's fish stew, flavoured with wonderful herbs
By Sophie Grigson
Fish Stew
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 1 kg mixed fish fillets, e.g. hoki, orange roughy, swordfish, cod, snapper, etc., cut into pieces approximately 2.5 cm wide and 4 cm long
  • black pepper
  • good pinch of strands saffron, (optional)
  • 1 white or red onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, or 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large sprig thyme
  • 2 x 400g tins canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 125 ml red wine, (optional)
  • 300 ml fish stock or water
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar, (optional)


1. Season the fish with salt and pepper and set aside. Put the saffron into a small bowl, if using, and add a tablespoon of hot water. Leave to infuse.

2. Fry the onion and celery in the olive oil over a moderate heat, letting them colour here and there. When they are almost done, add the garlic, coriander, cumin, bay leaves and thyme. Cook for 2 minutes.

3. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato puree, then leave to bubble until reduced and thickened - about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine (if using), bring back to the boil and cook for a minute or so, then add the stock or water and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes and then taste and adjust the seasoning. Add a little sugar to counteract the slightly sharp taste and then simmer for a further 5-10 minutes. The stew can be prepared in advance to this stage in advance and reheated thoroughly, about 10-15 minutes before you wish to serve it.

4. Add all the fish to the stew, together with the saffron and stir well. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.

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