A quick Fish Soup with Saffron and Vermouth

by meike peters

Fish Soup with Saffron + Vermouth

Bright red, with chunks of firm fish filet and king prawns, this was one of the best fish soups I have ever eaten! It was so rich in aromatic flavours, saffron, vermouth, thyme and bay leaf that it makes my mouth water when I think about it. My mother cooked the soup with wolfs fish and cod, we went to the market to get monkfish but her fish monger didn’t have it that day. Our choice was good, the fish tasted nice and strong and we enjoyed every single bite of it!

The soup is made of a concentrated fish broth, lobster works as well, which you can either prepare yourself beforehand or use a store bought one of good quality (my mother used a broth she had in the freezer). Once you have the broth ready in the pot, the basis of this soup, you only need 20 minutes in the kitchen before you can fill your plates with this delicious fish soup. We added saffron, vermouth, herbs and a couple vegetables and let it simmer for 10 minutes before we threw in the fish for another 7 minutes, that’s it. A sumptuous meal in such a short time!

Traditionally, this soup is topped with mayonnaise, you can either use the one from yesterday’s artichoke with 3 dips  or my garlicky aïoli. The traditional Provençal Bouillabaisse is served with an aromatic Rouille (I haven’t shared a recipe for this yet) which is made with saffron and spicy chili peppers. We got so excited over the quick preparation of our soup and the beautiful German white wine we already savored while cooking, that we simply forgot about this creamy dip. We didn’t enjoy it any less without it, with ciabatta bread on the side and the most amazing view of soft hills in juicy shades of green behind my mother’s blossoming garden. It was a good day!

Fish Soup with Saffron + Vermouth


Fish Soup with Saffron + Vermouth

 Fish Soup with Saffron and Vermouth 

For 4 people you need

fish ( firm filets of loup de mer, monkfish, wolfs fish or cod and king prawns), cut into chunky pieces, 800g / 1 3/4 pounds
fish or lobster broth 1200ml / 2.5 pints
vermouth 100ml / 3.5 ounces
(we used a mix of Noilly Prat and Pernot)
shallots, finely chopped, 2
medium sized carrot, finely chopped, 1
garlic, crushed, 1 clove
tomato paste 2 tablespoons
thyme, the leaves of 3 sprigs
parsley, finely chopped, the leaves of 3 sprigs
bay leaf 1
a pinch of saffron
a pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
olive oil

In a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil and sautée the vegetables and garlic on a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix with the vegetables. Deglaze with the vermouth and let it cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, bay leaf, thyme and parsley and let it cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Season with saffron, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste and take out the bay leaf.

Add the fish and let it simmer on a medium-low heat for about 7 minutes until the fish is done. Don’t overcook it, the texture should stay firm.

Serve with white bread (you can also roast it under the grill with a few drops of olive oil) and a spoonful of mayonnaise.



Fish Soup with Saffron + Vermouth


Fish Soup with Saffron + Vermouth