Fish Stew

Use a mixture of firm-fleshed fish, such as halibut, conger eel, or monkfish. Pieces of salmon can be added, as well as a mixture of shellfish, such as fresh mussels, scallops and prawns.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 leeks (white parts only), trimmed, sliced and cleaned
  • 1 celery stalk, trimmed and sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 lb / 455 g ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1½ pt / 850 ml fish stock
  • 3 lb / 1.35 kg prepared fish and shellfish
  • 4 tbsp dry vermouth
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1–2 tbsp chopped parsley, chives, chervil or coriander


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan or flameproof casserole, and sweat the leeks, celery and garlic until soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes, and cook until most of their juice has evaporated. Carefully pare off two or three long curls of orange zest, then cut the orange in half, and squeeze out the juice. Put the juice and peel in the pan together with the fennel seeds and a little of the fish stock. Cover and cook gently for 15 minutes. Where necessary, cut the fish into 2 in / 5 cm. chunks, and arrange all of it on top of the vegetables. Pour on the vermouth and remaining fish stock. Bring gently to the boil, then simmer for 2–3 minutes until the fish is just cooked. Season to taste, stir in the herbs, and serve immediately with plenty of crusty bread.