Minestrone di Frutti di Mare

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Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

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In common with bourride, this is more a stew than a soup. It makes a satisfying seafood combination for a one-dish meal and if you want to enlarge it then no more than a plain green salad and some cheese are needed to round things off.

It is based on our basic fish soup stock which you will have reduced and frozen for the day you decide to try this recipe. If you have to make the fumet first then use the cleaned bones and trimmings from the freezer. Fresh out of frozen fish bits? Then remember to ask your fishmonger for a kilo of white fish heads, bones and trimmings.


  • 450 g/1 lb cod fillets
  • 450 g/1 lb mussels
  • 450 g/1 lb palourde clams
  • 450 g/1 lb squid
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 200 g/7 oz potatoes
  • 1 head of fennel
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 courgette (optional)
  • 1 hot red chilli
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 litres/ pt fish stock
  • 225 g/8 oz ditaloni (soup pasta)
  • salt and pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for dressing
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, to garnish



About 4 hours before you intend to start to cook: put the cod fillets in a dish, sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt and chill.

About 30 minutes before cooking: wash and beard the mussels, discarding any which do not close when tapped. Scrub the clams. Clean the squid and cut into rings. Rinse and skin the cod and cut into bite-size chunks.

Peel and dice the carrot, onion and potatoes. Slice the fennel, celery and courgette, if using. Deseed and slice the chilli.


In a heavy-based saucepan, saute the vegetables in the olive oil until softened.

Pour in the stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.

Holding point — you can hold the broth at this point for an hour or so.

Return the broth to the boil and add the pasta. Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the clams, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Now add the mussels, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Finally, add the cod and the squid. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Leave the lid off and lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the cod is opaque and just cooked.


Serve in large soup bowls, dressing each dish with 1 or 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and with whole parsley leaves scattered over.

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