Half stew and half soup, this dish is a popular light meal in coastal regions of France, served simply with crusty French bread to mop up the sauce.
- 1tsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- Bay leaf
- Thyme, rosemary and oregano 1 sprig of each
- Fish stock 350ml (12fl oz)
- Dry white wine 150ml (1/4pt)
- Firm white fish fillets, e.g. cod, halibut or monkfish 450g (1lb)
- Fresh prepared mussels 450g (1lb)
- Chopped tomatoes 400g can
- Peeled prawns 225g (8oz), thawed if frozen
- Chopped parsley 2tbsp
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 5 mins, stirring, so they soften without browning. Set the onion and garlic to one side.
Tie together the bay leaf and herb sprigs and add to the saucepan. Pour the stock and wine into the pan.
Wash and pat dry the fish and cut the fillets into 2.5cm (1in) thick pieces and then add to the saucepan. Bring to the boil, add the mussels, cover and simmer for 5 mins.
Carefully stir in the chopped tomatoes and prawns and add the cooked onion and garlic. Season to taste. Bring back to the boil, cover, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 3-4 mins until piping hot, the fish is just cooked through and the mussels have opened.
To serve, discard the herbs and any mussels that haven’t opened. Ladle into warmed serving bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
Try toasting slices of French bread and rubbing with raw garlic. To eat, break pieces of the bread into the stew and push in gently to absorb the sauce.