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Fish soup
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Preparation time 50 mins – cooking time 40 mins. Serves 12 (generous).

Ingredients: 2 – 3kg rockfish. Buy 7 or 8 varieties (or more!) from the following list: girella, blenny, wrasse, sea perch, small tub gurnard, comber, lion fish, gobies, conger eel heads, crabs, green crabs, lobster; 4 medium-sized onions, 1 head of garlic, 5 stalks of parsley and their leaves, 2 good leeks, 4 ripe tomatoes, 10cm orange peel, 10 x 10cm dried fennel stems, 5 laurel leaves, 100ml olive oil, 3 teaspoons coarse salt, pepper, 0.5g saffron, 100g spaghetti, 1 teaspoon tomato purée, 100g grated gruyère cheese (optional), 3l water

Preparation: Do not scale the fish, but simply gut the bigger fish. Wash all to remove impurities: shells, algae etc. Rinse the parsley and tomatoes. Clean, wash and slice the leeks. Peel and chop the onions finely. Peel and crush the garlic. Place in a 30cm wide pot over the heat with olive oil.
Add the onions, leeks and fennel and lightly brown. Next, add the fish, quartered tomatoes, garlic, parsley, laurel leaves, orange peel and tomato purée (important for the colour).
With a wooden spatula, stir the pot, remembering to scrape the bottom. Cook, making sure that the fish does not disintegrate. Pour in 3l of hot water. Add salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the fennel, orange peel and laurel leaves.
Force soup through a food mill, and then pass through a strainer or solid cloth. Bring to the boil again.
Cook for 10 minutes, with the spaghetti cut into 2cm strips. Taste and adjust seasoning. Mix the saffron into a ladle with a bit of the broth. Pour it into the pot, stir and serve.

Southern flavours and cuisine©CIVP / F Milo