Bouillabaisse of turbot, salmon and mussels


First published in 2020
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Poached fennel and fondue

To serve

  • 1/2 baguette, small and stale
  • 16 Ratte potatoes, or baby potatoes
  • 100g of aioli, ideally saffron aioli
  • 1 handful of mixed herbs, such as parsley, tarragon and chervil, finely chopped
  • fennel fronds, to garnish, plus some very finely shaved fennel kept in iced water (optional)
Begin by preparing the gurnard and turbot. If you’re up for the challenge you can do this yourself (watch the video for a better idea on how to do this), or you can ask your fishmonger to do it for you – just remember to ask for all the trimmings
From the turbot, you need roughly 250g of skinned loin, but ensure you save the bones and trim. For the gurnard (or red mullet), discard the guts, eyes and gills, have the fish filleted, then save the fillets and everything else
Set the turbot loin aside in the fridge. Roughly chop the gurnard (or mullet) fillets into 1-inch pieces, then use scissors or sharp knife to cut up the bones and trim of both the gurnard and turbot. Rinse the chopped fish and trim under cold running water until the water runs clear (this could take up to 30 minutes). Make sure to keep moving the fish around to ensure it is thoroughly cleaned
While the fish is being washed, cut the turbot loin and salmon loin into 2-inch pieces, then cover and reserve in the fridge
Once the fish trim has been thoroughly cleaned, pat it dry thoroughly and place it in a large container. Add the orange peel, saffron, thyme, cayenne pepper, garlic and olive oil. Mix well, cover with cling film and leave to marinate overnight
The next day, preheat an oven to 200°C and start making the fennel fondue. Remove the outer layers of the 2 fennel, setting aside the hearts for later (reserve any green fronds for garnishing too). Slice 175g of the outer layers of the fennel and fry in a glug of olive oil for 45 minutes over a low heat along with the shallots, stirring regularly
While the fennel and shallots cook, place the marinated fish and trim into the oven for 30-40 minutes. Give everything a stir halfway through, then set aside
As the soup base roasts and the fennel and shallots gently cook, prepare the fennel hearts. Combine the water, salt, sugar, fennel seeds and star anise in a small saucepan. Halve the fennel hearts if they’re large, then place them in the pan. Bring to the boil, simmer gently until tender (around 10 minutes), then set aside
Once the fennel and shallots have completely broken down and are starting to colour, add the chopped tomatoes and sun-dried tomato paste. Continue to cook for another 20 minutes, allowing all the flavours to meld and the tomatoes to break down
To cook the mussels, pour them into a large roasting tin and bake for 10-12 minutes, then set aside. Meanwhile, bring a small pan of salted water to the boil and cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, until just tender. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel and cut into chunks
To make the croutons, turn the temperature of the oven down to 165°C. Slice the stale baguette as thinly as you can, then place in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes until crisp. Set aside to cool
  • 1/2 baguette, small and stale
Scoop the roasted fish bone mixture into a large saucepan, then add the fondue base. Top it up with enough cold water to just cover, then bring to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes
Transfer the soup base to a jug blender and blitz for 5 minutes until completely smooth. Strain through a chinois or a very fine sieve into a clean pan, using a ladle to squeeze the liquid out of the solids. Add the orange juice, lemon juice, Pernod and a little more cayenne (if desired), then season and bring to a simmer
You now have all the elements needed to finish the bouillabaisse – a hot soup, the salmon, the turbot, the baked mussels, the cooked fennel hearts and the peeled potatoes. Add the salmon and turbot to the soup, gently poaching them for 2 minutes, then add the potatoes and fennel. Cover and allow to warm through gently
To serve, divide the poached fish and vegetables between 4 bowls, then add the mussels. Place the remaining soup back on the hob and add a dollop of aioli and the herbs, whisking to thicken slightly. Pour the soup over the fish in the bowls, then garnish with fennel fronds and iced fennel (if using). Serve with the croutons and more aioli on the side
  • 100g of aioli, ideally saffron aioli
  • 1 handful of mixed herbs, such as parsley, tarragon and chervil, finely chopped
  • fennel fronds, to garnish, plus some very finely shaved fennel kept in iced water (optional)
First published in 2020
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