This fish soup from Kitchen Secret’s chef Raymond Blanc, comes with aïoli, a mayonnaise with garlic and olive oil that you mix in to the soup to make it delicious – worth the effort if you want to impress your dinner party guests
- For the fish soup:
- 1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 1 bulb fennel, finely chopped
- 1 small stick celery, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 100ml olive oil
- 1 packet saffron powder (0.25g)
- 500g gurnard fillets, chopped (good-tasting British fish)
- 500g grey mullet fillets, chopped
- 300g tomatoes, chopped
- 300ml dry white wine, boiled for 30 seconds
- 1.2lt cold water
- 4 pinches sea salt
- 3 pinches cayenne pepper
- 1tbsp Pernod (French aniseed-based alcoholic drink)
- For the aïoli
- (all ingredients must be at room temperature)
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 gloves garlic, puréed
- 1 pinch salt
- 250ml extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of ¼ lemon
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- For the garnish:
- 30 toasted croutons
- 100g Gruyère cheese, grated
- You'll also need:
- Fine sieve
- 30cm casserole dish
- Liquidizer (optional)
For the fish soup: Sweat the onions, fennel, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme and bay leaf in the olive oil for 5 mins. Stir in the saffron, add the chopped fish and stir again, then cook for another 5 mins. Add the tomatoes, white wine and cold water and season with salt and cayenne pepper. Taste.
Lastly add the Pernod, bring to the boil for 2 mins, skim, then barely simmer for 20 mins on top of the stove.
Take off the heat, then you can either strain the soup by passing it through a fine sieve, or you can give it more flavour and texture by lightly liquidizing it for 2 secs.
For the Aïoli: In a bowl, mix the egg yolks with the garlic and salt, then pour in the olive oil in a steady trickle, still stirring, until the oil is absorbed and thickens.
Whisk in the lemon juice and cayenne pepper.Taste and correct the seasoning.
To serve: Heat the soup and serve the aïoli separately, or use a hand-held blender to liquidize the aïoli into the soup. Serve with the croutons and Gruyère cheese.
Top tip for making Raymond Blanc’s fish soup
The cold water will trap and coagulate some of the protein, which will rise to the surface as the water heats up. At full boil, skim off the surface froth, then immediately lower the heat to a mere simmer for 20 minutes.