Saffron Seafood Soup


  • Clean one monkfish, or thick white fish such as cod, by skinning, deboning and rinsing it in fresh water.
  • Chop into chunky bite-sized pieces.
  • Add the bones to a stock pot.
  • Wash and clean 500 g of mussels, debearding them, scrubbing their shells clean and discarding any that don’t close when tapped.
  • Wash and trim the coral from your scallops. You can add the coral to your stock pot.
  • Add some lemon zest, some thyme, some parsley, a chunk of celery and half an onion to your stock pot and top up with cold water.
  • Bring to the boil, skim off the scum and then simmer while you prep the rest of the soup.
  • Soften a couple of finely diced shallots in a little olive oil, then add some finely chopped garlic and a sprig of thyme.
  • Put the mussels into the pot and add a dash of dry white wine or some Marsala if you really want a rich taste.
  • Put a lid on the pot and cook over a medium high heat shaking the pan sporadically until all the mussels have steamed open.
  • Discard any mussels which have not opened.
  • Take the mussels out with a slotted spoon leaving the cooking juices in the pan.
  • Take most of the mussels out of the shells, leaving a few for garnish and reserving the rest.
  • Add the mussel shells to the stock pot and bring to the boil once again.
  • Skim off the scum and return to a simmer.
  • Place your chunks of white fish in the mussel cooking juice, add a good pinch of saffron strands and poach gently for about ten minutes until the fish is opaque. It will have taken on a golden yellow hue from the saffron. Gorgeous.
  • Take the fish out with a slotted spoon and divide, with your mussels between four bowls. Add a few mussels in their shells to each bowl.
  • Drain the stock and discard the bones, shells etc.
  • Skim off any scum and add the stock to your mussel/fish pot.
  • Bring to the boil and let reduce slightly while you sear the scallops in a hot pan with a smidgen of olive oil. The scallops should be coloured, but cooked until just opaque in the middle. Don’t overcook them or their delicate flavour will be lost.
  • Season the broth to taste with some Maldon salt and some freshly ground pepper.
  • Ladle over the mussels and fish, cut the scallops in half if very large and add to the bowls.
  • Finally chop with some fresh flat leaf parsley, or even a bit of coriander if you want more kick.

This is not really a long recipe, just a step by step. The whole thing should not take more than 20 minutes from fish cleaning to clean bowl.


4 Responses to “Saffron Seafood Soup”

  1. […] chat « Buttermilk rusksSaffron Seafood Soup […]

  2. on 19 Mar 2008 at 12:51 pm Mrs.W

    Once again, gorgeous photos. Droolworthy.

  3. on 20 Mar 2008 at 10:23 pm Anne

    How is it possible that you know I had an intense craving for a hearty seafood soup earlier today?!? *bookmarked*

  4. on 23 Mar 2008 at 6:28 pm Jeni

    This looks amazing. I love saffron and rarely use it for some reason. I will have to change that.

    Happy Easter!

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