A classic French seafood soup. Fennel gives it a hint of aniseed, saffron its rich golden colour.

5 crab claws
2 large tomatoes, peeled
1 large onion, peeled
4 cloves garlic, peeled
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1 floury potato
½ fennel bulb
3 bay leaves
¼ tsp saffron
1½ tbsp coarse sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
300ml white wine
500ml boiling water
1.5kg white fish fillets (such as monkfish, turbot, red snapper, garfish, or cod), cut into large pieces (4x4 cm), with the skin still attached
8 cockles
500g cultivated mussels, scrubbed and debearded
500g large prawns in shells (raw)

  1. Crush the crab claws by smashing them with a pan or meat tenderiser.
  2. Place in a sauté pan and roast on high heat until the shells become somewhat white and loosened, to allow the broth to enter.
  3. Cut and add the tomatoes, fennel, potato, onion and garlic and pour over the oil. Sauté until soft.
  4. Pour in the wine and bring to boil then add the boiling water and reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 90 minutes. Strain the broth, first through a wire strainer and then through a filter cloth.
  5. Keep the broth warm on a low heat.
  6. Place the cockles and fish fillet pieces into separate pans. Pour a ladle of broth into each saucepan. Poach each pan on a low heat for about 2 minutes or until the cockles open.
  7. Bring the simmering broth to a boil and add the mussels and prawns. Cook with the lid on for about 2 minutes or until the mussels open.
To serve

Place the pieces of fish, cockles, mussels and prawns into a shallow plate or bowl, and pour the broth into a serving jug for your guests to help themselves.