Seafood Medley in a White Wine and Saffron Broth
Chef Tip: "I add some Madeira wine to the broth as well to give it a more intense flavour but you don’t have to do that. To make it a more substantial meal, add cooked and sliced new potatoes to each soup bowl before serving up the rest."
For four people:
25g, 1oz, 2 tablespoons, butter
1 small fennel bulb - shoots and root cut off, tough outer layer removed, halved; tough bottom core cut out of each half and the two halves then chopped finely
2 small or one large shallot, chopped finely
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
150ml, 5floz, slightly less than ¾ cup, white wine (you should be happy to drink the wine you use for cooking)
50ml, 2floz, 0.2 cup Madeira wine (optional)
1 heaped teaspoon saffron threads
700ml, 1¼ pints, 3.1 cups, fish stock
100ml, 3½floz, ½ cup, light crème fraiche
Salt and white pepper
1 medium sized carrot, cut into matchstick-sized batons
Handful of sugar snaps, cut into thin strips
1 red pepper (bell pepper), deseeded and cut into thin strips
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
500g, 1lb 2oz, mixed fish (I mostly use some type of firm white fish and salmon), cut into bite-size pieces
8-12 raw king prawns, shelled and de-veined
8 - 12 scallops
1. Start by adding the saffron to the white wine. Melt the butter in a large pot over a low heat. Gently fry the fennel and shallot in the pot for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time to make sure it doesn't burn. Add the garlic to the pot and fry, stirring all the time, for a further minute.
2. Add the white wine and saffron (and the Madeira wine if using) and bring it to a boil, turn down down the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes until the wine has reduced by about half.
3. Add the fish stock and crème fraiche and bring it back to a simmer. Season with salt and white pepper, and taste to make sure you are happy with the broth! You can prepare this well in advance, cool it down and leave it covered in the fridge.
4. I quickly sear the fish pieces and scallops in a hot frying pan and then place them on a baking tray covered with baking parchment and finish them off in a 200C/400F hot oven for 1-2 minutes just before serving. I add the prawns and the all the julienned vegetables to the pot with the broth and bring it back to a simmer for about 3 minutes. Give it a good stir a couple of times. Place the baking tray with the fish and scallops in the oven during the last 2 minutes.
Divide the fish and scallops between 4 soup bowls and top with the prawn, vegetables and broth.