Provençal Fish Soup

Provençal Fish Soup Recipe
Photo: © Mark Roper
At Terrôir restaurant at the Craggy Range winery, chef Sara Simpson flavors her lush seafood soup with port, red wine and the usual dash of licorice-scented Pernod.



Recipe from

Food & Wine


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
6 garlic, coarsely chopped
4 3-inch strips of orange zest
4 thyme sprigs
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
pinch of saffron threads
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 16-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
2 8-ounce bottles clam juice
3/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup ruby port
1 3/4 pounds skinless grouper or red snapper fillets, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound medium shrimp in the shell
1 tablespoon Pernod
Salt and coarsely ground pepper


In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook over moderately high heat until softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, orange zest, thyme sprigs, fennel and coriander seeds and saffron and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook over high heat until glossy, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, clam juice, wine and port and bring to a boil. Add the grouper and shrimp, cover partially and simmer for 45 minutes. Discard the zest and thyme sprigs.

Working in batches, transfer the soup to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Rinse out the pot. Set a food mill fitted with a coarse blade over the pot and run the soup through the food mill. Bring the soup to a simmer. Stir in the Pernod and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.


Sara Simpson,

May 2009
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