Simple seafood broth

Delicate seafood is complemented by saffron, tomatoes and zucchini in a light but well–flavoured broth. The accompaniment, a piquant spread of creamy ricotta and red capsicum for a baguette, is far lighter than classic rouille, the spicy mayonnaise traditionally served with seafood soups.

Simple seafood broth


  • 1 litre fish stock, preferably homemade
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 400 g mussels in shells, scrubbed and beards removed
  • 100 g peeled raw prawns
  • 100 g shelled scallops
  • 100 g white fish fillet, skinned
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 zucchini, finely diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives to garnish
  • 1 baguette to serve
  • 1 small red capsicum, seeded and finely chopped
  • ⅔ cup (160 g) ricotta
  • pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 small stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives


  1. First prepare the capsicum spread.
  2. Stir the capsicum into the ricotta together with the cayenne pepper, celery, chives and salt to taste.
  3. Cover and chill until required.
  4. Heat the fish stock in a large saucepan until boiling.
  5. Crumble the saffron threads into the stock and stir well, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. To prepare the mussels, discard any broken shells or shells that do not close when tapped.
  7. Put the mussels into a clean saucepan and cover tightly.
  8. (There is no need to add water as they should be wet enough after having been scrubbed.
  9. ) Cook over a moderate heat for 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
  10. Check that the mussels have opened – if not, cover and cook for a further 1–2 minutes.
  11. Set a colander over the saucepan of stock and tip the mussels into it so that the juices from the shells are added to the stock.
  12. Leave the mussels until they are cool enough to handle, then remove them from their shells and set aside.
  13. Discard any unopened shells.
  14. Use a small sharp knife to make a shallow slit along the back of each prawn.
  15. Use the tip of the knife to remove the black vein and discard it.
  16. Cut each scallop across into 2–3 thin slices, depending on size.
  17. Cut the fish fillet into strips about 2 cm wide and 5 cm long.
  18. Reheat the fish stock until simmering.
  19. Add the mussels, prawns, scallops and strips of fish.
  20. Stir, then heat until simmering gently again.
  21. Add the tomatoes and zucchini with salt and pepper to taste.
  22. Simmer the soup for 3 minutes.
  23. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and scatter chives over to garnish.
  24. Serve at once, with the capsicum spread and warm baguette.

Serves 4
Preparation: 40 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes


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