This colourful soup is light yet satisfying. Chunky cubes of white fish, prawns and small pasta shells combine with the full flavours of fennel and leek to make a delicious first course. Serve with warm crusty bread, or chunky slices off a hearty mixed–grain loaf or poppyseed bread plait.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil1 leek, white part only, sliced
1 bulb of fennel, roughly chopped
300 ml dry white wine
1 litre fish stock
125 g conchigliette (soup pasta shells)
500 g white fish fillets, skinned and cut into chunks
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped1 tablespoon cornflour
125 g peeled cooked prawns
½ teaspoon chilli sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons pouring cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large heavy–based saucepan.
Add the leek and fennel, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour in the wine and fish stock, and bring to the boil.
Add the pasta and stir the soup once, then leave to simmer for about 8 minutes or until the pasta is almost tender.
Gently stir in the chunks of fish and the tomatoes, with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook over a low heat for a further 2–3 minutes or until the fish is just firm.
Meanwhile, blend the cornflour to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons water.
Stir the cornflour mixture into the soup and bring it to the boil, stirring constantly.
Add the cooked prawns and simmer gently for a further 1 minute.
Stir in the chilli sauce to taste.
Add the cream and parsley, stir to mix and serve immediately.
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