Fish and Fennel Soup

Fish and Fennel Soup


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Chunks of firm fish stay attractively whole in this beautifully simple soup. Herbs, tomatoes and wine add extra flavour and a warm inviting colour, while a modest addition of cream gives it richness.

Pat Alburey

Serves: 4 

  • 2 1/2 cups (625ml) fish stock
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium bulb fennel
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 150ml dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1 tin (400g) diced tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and black pepper
  • 500g firm-fleshed fish fillets or cutlets
  • a few sprigs of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons thick cream

Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:1hour 

  1. Put the stock on to heat. Peel and finely chop the onion and trim and finely chop the fennel, reserving the fronds for a garnish.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan, then cook the onion and fennel over moderate heat for 5 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Pour off any surplus oil from the saucepan, then add the stock, the wine or vermouth, tomatoes, bay leaf and sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, skin the fish, discard any bones, cut the flesh into 2.5-cm cubes and add to the pan. Reserve a few leaves of parsley for a garnish, then chop the rest and add to the soup. Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  5. Blend the cornflour and milk in a bowl. When the fish is cooked, remove the bay leaf, stir the cornflour into the soup and simmer until thickened slightly.
  6. Stir in the cream and heat gently for 1–2 minutes. Serve the soup garnished with the reserved fennel fronds and parsley.


good source of vitamins A, B group, C and E.


You can use any firm-fleshed fish, such as snapper, orange roughy, salmon or shark to make this dish. Alternatively, you can use equal quantities of shelled and deveined prawns and shucked scallops.

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