Monkfish Soup with Garlic, Sage and Fennel

Baudroie en l’aïgo boulido

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Sud de France

By Caroline Conran

Published 2012

  • About

To flavour and colour this aromatic soup, it is worthwhile finding powdered saffron, or you can use the favourite Spanish colouring Spigol which comes in tiny but potent packets in a bright red and yellow box. It has a warm, spicy taste and is used to give paella its characteristic tone and flavour; it is much cheaper than real saffron and gives a gorgeous golden yellow colour.


  • 500 g monkfish, cut into medallions 1.25 cm thick
  • 750 ml chicken or fish stock
  • 1 packet powdered saffron or Spigol
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 6-8 sage leaves
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 10 sprigs of fennel
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1-2 tbsp double cream
  • aïoli
  • slices of toasted country bread
  • salt, white pepper


    Put the stock in a saucepan with the saffron, garlic, sage, thyme and half the fennel. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Keep the pan covered. Remove the garlic and press to extract the pulp from the skins. Discard the herbs. Poach the fish in the broth for 5 minutes. Keep warm.

    In a food processor or a mortar, work the garlic pulp and egg yolks to a paste. Whisk in a ladleful of the fish broth and stir in the cream. Pour the emulsion back into the pan with the fish.

    Taste for seasoning; warm over a low heat, stirring. Do not overheat or it will curdle. Chop the remaining fennel, scatter it over the soup and serve with toasted pain de campagne and, if you like, aïoli.