Fish Soup

This is a thick, filling fish soup, really a meal in itself. We usually remove the haddock fillet before serving, but you could skin and flake it, then return it to the pan once the aïoli has been incorporated.

As well as bringing a pungent, garlicky scent to the soup, the aïoli gives it a creamy texture. The accompanying rouille needs to be made very hot to cut through the richness. It’s hard to gauge the exact number of chillis you will need – two of the spindly red Thai ones may be quite enough, though it’ll probably take four of the larger green chillis to achieve the same strength.

The soup can be made in advance up to the point where the aïoli is added. Then, just before serving, whisk in the aïoli and bring to the boil.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • ½ cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 or 3 sprigs of basil, dill or fennel
  • ½ teaspoon saffron filaments
  • 1 × 400 g/14 oz can tomatoes, chopped, and their juice (or 450 g/1 lb fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped)
  • ¼ bottle of dry white wine
  • 600 ml/1 pint fish stock
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 50 g/2 oz smoked haddock fillet
  • 150 ml/¼ pint aïoli


Heat the oil in a large pan and sweat the onion, garlic, celery and cucumber for 5 minutes. Add the herbs, saffron, tomatoes and wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, a good squeeze of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 more minutes, then add the fish. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat, take out the fish and whisk in the aïoli. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with Rouille, Garlic Croutons and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

To Serve

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