Provençal Fish Soup


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.Plus: F&W's Fish and Seafood Cooking Guide More Healthy Soups

Provençal Fish Soup
Photo: © Mark Roper
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped

  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

  • Four 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

  • One 16-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved

  • Two 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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Suggested Pairing

A full-bodied Chardonnay would be an ideal match for this luxurious dish.

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