Man Food by Mark Hix

Classic Fish Soup

Stick with Esquire's chef Mark Hix and you're going to be good at this cooking lark. Here's another bona fide classic for your growing repertoire. 

I hate throwing fish bones and heads away — you can easily get another meal out of them.

The best way is to cook up a soup, which you can either serve with a rouille and croutons or use as a base for a fish stew like a bouillabaisse.

If you don’t want soup, you can make a simple fish stock and freeze it: either way, it’s better than throwing bones in the bin.

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Fish soup (serves 6)

2tbsps of olive oil
The head, bones and skin from the cod, chopped into small chunks
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped and washed
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 red pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and roughly chopped
A good pinch of saffron
1 bay leaf
A few sprigs of thyme
1tsp black peppercorns
3 juniper berries
1tbsp tomato purée
230g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 glass of red wine
2 fish stock cubes dissolved in 2 litres of boiling water
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

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1 | In a large pot, heat the olive oil and gently fry the fish, vegetables, spices and herbs for about 10 minutes.
2 | Add the tomato purée, tomatoes, red wine and fish stock. Bring to the boil, season and simmer for 50 minutes. Blend one-third of the soup in a liquidiser (bones and all) and return it to the pot and simmer gently for another 20 minutes.
3 | Strain the soup through a sieve or conical strainer and re-season if necessary.

Photographs by Martha Pavlidou