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Friday Recipe - Catalan Fish Stew - Rick Stein

Friday Recipe -  Catalan Fish Stew - Rick Stein

This is an everyday Catalan fish soup that is more like a stew and has several variants. Like so many Catalan dishes, it starts with a sofregit of fried garlic and tomato. A hearty Catalan fish soup; a meal in bowl.

Catalan fish stew


6 tbsp olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
2 fennel bulbs, chopped
150g/5oz chorizo, diced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
2 cloves new season garlic, crushed
½tsp sweet paprika powder
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp saffron strands (optional)
3 fresh bay leaves
1 tin plum tomatoes
100ml/3½ fl oz fish stock or water
150ml/5 fl oz white wine
500g/1 lb 2oz mussels, cleaned
650g/1 lb 7 oz firm white fish (bream, pollock, cod, monkfish), filleted, dredged in flour and fried in olive oil
100g/3½ oz toasted almonds, ground
To serve
1 lemon, cut into wedges
steamed potatoes and spring greens

Preparation method

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onions, fennel, diced chorizo, chilli, ground fennel seeds and garlic for a few minutes.
Add the paprika, thyme, saffron, bay leaves and tomatoes and cook until reduced to a thickish sauce.
Add the fish stock (or water) and white wine and bring to a simmer.
Add the cooked mussels and cook until they are all open. Discard any that have not opened.
Put the fish pieces into the stew and stir in the almonds.
Heat for a minute or two and serve with seasonal greens, steamed potatoes and wedges of lemon.
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