Scale, gut, wash and drain the various fish.
Peel the onions and slice them finely into rounds.
Cut the tomatoes into eight pieces each. Cut the head of garlic into two, horizontally.
Soften the onions in the olive oil in the large saucepan and let them turn golden over a brisk heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Then, still over a fierce heat, pile the fish into the pan. Add the garlic, tomatoes and herbs and mix everything together well. Allow the fish and vegetables to sweat for 10 minutes, releasing their juices, then add
Still over a fierce heat, bring the soup back to the boil and cook uncovered at a galloping boil for 15–20 minutes. Only then add the salt, pepper and saffron, and sieve through the mouli-légumes. Keep working away and everything except the herbs will go through – fish, tomatoes, garlic. Return to the saucepan and re-boil. Just before serving strain the soup through a fine conical sieve, pressing it through firmly with the back of a small ladle, which you pump rapidly up and down.
If you do not want to serve the soup immediately, set it aside in a cool place. When you are ready to eat it re-heating will bring out its marvellous and mouth-watering fragrance.
© 1979 All rights reserved. Published by Macmillan.