Seafood soup with fregula, basil and citrus

  • Starter
  • medium
  • 4
  • 2 hours, plus 3 hours confit



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  • 300g of semolina flour
  • 100g of water
  • salt

Seafood soup

Confit tomatoes

Fish broth

To serve

  • crusty bread, such as ciabatta or a baguette, thinly sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 100°C/gas mark ¼
Start with the confit tomatoes. Arrange the cherry tomatoes across a deep baking dish in a single layer and pour over just enough olive oil to cover. Transfer to the oven and slowly roast for 3 hours until tender. Set aside until needed
While the tomatoes are roasting, prepare the fish and seafood. Clean the whole fish in cold water then carefully remove the heads and bones, reserving these for the fish broth. Dice the flesh and set aside in the fridge
  • 600g of rock fish, a mixture such as red mullet and scorpion fish, gutted
Remove the shells from the bodies of the prawns, leaving the heads intact for decoration. Remove the mussels and clams from their shells and combine all of the shells with the reserved bones for the fish broth
Clean the squid (or cuttlefish) and discard the innards and heads. Peel the skin from the main body, rinse well in water and finely slice the clean white flesh. Reserve all of the seafood in the fridge, placing the clams and mussels in a small bowl of cold water to help keep them fresh
Once the confit tomatoes are ready, increase the oven temperature to 160°C/gas mark 3
To make the fregula, place the semolina flour in a large bowl and add a little of the water. Start mixing the water into the flour by hand, adding just enough to create sandy grains
  • 300g of semolina flour
  • 100g of water
Push the dough through a sieve on to a tray so that the grains are of a fairly even size. Transfer the tray to the oven and bake for 20–30 minutes, stirring the contents of the tray occasionally to ensure the grains cook evenly. When light golden remove from the oven
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the dried fregula. Cook for 5 minutes then drain and reserve
Meanwhile, start the fish broth. Add a drizzle of oil to a large pan and place over a low heat. Add the diced onion, gently sauté for 15 minutes then add the diced carrot, celery and leek. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes
Add the chopped garlic and parsley to the pan and cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper and add the reserved fish bones, heads and shells. Mash these into the vegetables with a wooden spoon to help release as much as flavour as possible
Stir in the wine and allow to simmer for a few minutes until most of the liquid has reduced. Stir in the tomato paste and mixed fresh herbs then cover the mixture with ice. Turn off the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes
  • 150ml of dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 bunch of mixed herbs, such as bay, basil, thyme and wild fennel
  • 2kg ice cubes
After this time, place back on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down low and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce
Meanwhile, season the reserved diced fish with salt, pepper, a few basil leaves and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. In a separate bowl, season the prawns and squid and drizzle with a little more oil
To bring the soup together, heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a few tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and parsley and sauté for a few minutes to soften
Add a few pieces of the marinated fish to the pan and allow to colour a little to add flavour to the pan
Strain the reduced fish broth through a sieve – there should be about 600ml of broth. Add this to the fish pan, followed by the confit tomatoes, and bring everything to the boil
Add the cooked fregula to the pan and continue to simmer for a few minutes over a low heat. Check the flavour and add a little of the water from the clams and mussels if a stronger flavour is needed
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining diced fish, the sliced squid, prawns, and drained mussels and clams. Stir in a few more basil leaves, a little olive oil and the citrus zests
Preheat a grill to high. Drizzle the bread slices with a little oil and briefly grill until just crisp. Divide the soup between bowls (making sure the prawns and seafood are evenly distributed) and add a slice of the toasted bread. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh basil to serve
  • crusty bread, such as ciabatta or a baguette, thinly sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch of basil
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