Rustic Fish Soup by Phoebe Cole-Smith

Rustic Fish Soup by Phoebe Cole-Smith

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Prep time:  30 minutes

Serves 6


  • olive oil, enough to cover bottom of pan
  • 2 small onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 big pinches saffron
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, or 1 hot red chile (cayenne or de arbol), seeded and chopped
  • small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pieces fresh orange peel
  • 1 ½ cups white wine
  • 1 ½ lbs. canned tomatoes
  • water, about 2 cups
  • 3 – 3 ½ lbs. skinned and filleted white fish (cod, haddock, halibut), cut into large chunks, or sea scallops (leave whole), or littleneck clams, scrubbed – or a combination
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Warm oil in a large heavy pan, add onions, and cook gently until translucent.
  2. Add garlic and cook for a minute; then add saffron, hot pepper flakes or chile, parsley (reserve about a tablespoon for garnish), thyme, bay leaves, and orange peel.
  3. Let mixture stew in the oil for another minute. Add white wine and simmer for two minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and simmer slowly, breaking them up with the back of a spoon, until they have collapsed into a rough sauce. Add water until you have a loose, soupy stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium, add the shellfish, and cook until the shells just begin to open. Add the firmest fish, then remaining fish, and cook until still firm but opaque.  Do not overcook.
  6. Check seasoning, adding sea salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped parsley, along with garlic-rubbed pain de campagne toasts and aioli.Recipe courtesy of Phoebe Cole-Smith, Farmer-Chef, Dirt Road Farm and
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