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Classic Marseille Fish Soup - Chef Recipe by Anthony Humphries

Classic Marseille Fish Soup - Chef Recipe by Anthony Humphries



1 kg Blue Swimmer Crab
1 kg Gurnard
1 kg Red Mullet
1 kg Slimy Mackerel


1 head of fennel
3 brown onions (medium to large)
1 leek
500 g fresh tomatoes


Half a head of Garlic
1 Tbs of black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
3 juniper berries
3 bay leaves
1 large pinch of saffron


200 ml of pastis (Pernod or Ricard)
200 ml of white wine

500g tomato paste
200ml olive oil


Fish must be whole, scaled and gutted. Then cut fish into rough pieces.

Using a cleaver to cut crabs in half and then with the back of the cleaver use it to crush the claws. Place on a tray and roast for about 30 minutes on 180C fan forced oven.

Roughly chop all vegetables then sauté vegetables and aromatics in a large pot with half the olive oil.

Deglaze pot with half the wine and pastis. Add half the saffron and half the tomato paste. Stir to mix well.

Add fish and roasted crab and enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, do not let it boil for more than 20 minutes.

Blitz with a stick blender and strain, but not too fine as you want the fish meat to get through but not the shell.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pot (if using the same one as before make sure it has been cleaned). Must be very hot, almost at smoking point. Add remaining tomato paste and sauté, be careful to not let it stick.

Deglaze with remaining wine and pastis. Add the last of the saffron.

Pour in the strained fish soup and bring back to the boil.

Season to taste and serve.

Chef’s suggestion: With all soups and braises the flavour is always better the next day! Bon Appétit!