Creamy Fish Soup Topped with a Puff Pastry Lid

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Feast of Fish

A Feast of Fish

By Ian McAndrew

Published 1989

  • About

Once made, this soup will keep perfectly well in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days, topping and cooking it as required. Of course, it is a perfectly good soup without the pastry topping. All the fish must be bought whole as the bones are needed to make the soup.


  • 2 x 115 g/4 oz red mullet
  • 1 X 350 g/12 oz sea bass
  • 16 Dublin Bay prawns (weighing about 675g/1½ lb)
  • 275 g/10 oz Dover sole
  • 1 X 350 g/12 oz John Dory
  • 1 X 225 g/8 oz monkfish tail
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 350 g/12 oz white mirepoix (celery, onion, leek)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 115 g/4 oz flour
  • 300 ml/½ pint dry white wine
  • 2.25 litres/4 pints fish stock
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 stalks fresh parsley
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 450 ml/¾ pint double cream
  • 450 g/1 lb puff pastry mix
  • 25 g/1 oz fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 egg


    Preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/Gas Mark 9.

    Scale the red mullet and sea bass, and scale and skin the Dover sole; the John Dory and monkfish tail should also be skinned. Shell the Dublin Bay prawns and save the shells and heads. Fillet all the fish and trim each of the fillets, saving the trimmings. Cut the fillets into pieces to get 16 from each fish. Roughly chop up the fish bones, including the heads, and the shells and heads of the prawns together with the trimmings. Wash everything well, then drain.

    Heat the oil in a large pan and when hot add the vegetables and garlic. Cover and gently sweat, without colouring, until they start to soften. Add the fish bones, heads and trimmings, and the shells and the heads of the prawns and continue sweating for about 2 minutes, again without colouring. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the bones and place the pan into the oven for about 5 minutes. Turn the oven down to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7. Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the flour. Add the white wine and the fish stock, followed by the thyme, parsley stalks and saffron. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    After 30 minutes strain the soup through a strainer, pressing the bones dry, then strain again through muslin into a clean pan. Return this to the heat and bring back to the boil. When boiling, add the cream, bring back to the boil again and allow to reduce slightly. Remove from the heat and allow to go cold.