If you are serving the Greenland prawns, save and freeze the heads and shells. These carcasses have been one of the most important ingredients in the innumerable fish soups I’ve served over the years in Soho. If they are not available, substitute a hen crab, asking your fishmonger to kill and chop it for you.
In a very large pan heat the oil, and add the celery, onion, fennel, carrot and leek. Sweat these over a brisk heat for 5 minutes, then add the chilli, garlic, bay leaves, parsley stalks and orange rind. Sweat for a further 5 minutes, and then add the tomato and wine. Stir and bring to a boil. Throw in the prawn and fish bits, stir again and add just enough water to barely cover the solids, approximately
Allow to cool, and tip into a large bowl through a colander. Allow the debris in the colander to drain thoroughly, pressing it with the back of a ladle. Discard the debris when you are sure that all the juices have been drained.
Clean out the original pan and return the broth to it by way of a fine sieve. Bring back to a boil and reduce by half, skimming frequently. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding the Pernod and saffron. Return to the boil and give it one last skim.
This broth freezes well.
© 1999 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.