GT party hamper

Our first-ever Christmas hamper is available for ordering now. Here's how to get yours.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to the print version and you’ll go into the draw to win a brand new luxury Audi Q5, valued at more than $75,000.

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

French-inspired fish soup

You'll need

1 kg black mussels, scrubbed and beards removed 4 400gm whole pink snapper, red emperor or coral trout, cleaned, filleted and heads reserved 2 bulbs baby fennel, fronds removed and reserved 2 stalks celery, from heart, cut into 1 cm pieces 6 spring onions bulbs 1 carrot, cut into 1cm pieces 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, bruised 150 ml Noilly Prat 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock 2 pinches saffron threads 1 sprig thyme 6 vine-ripened Roma tomatoes, blanched, deseeded and cut into 1cm pieces 6 small baby fennel (see note) ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, thinly sliced To garnish: chervil cress To serve: crusty bread and aïoli


  • 01
  • Place mussels in a bowl, pour over 100ml wine. Heat a heavy-based saucepan over high heat for 2 minutes, add mussels and wine, cover, cook for 2-3 minutes, shaking pan occassionally until mussels open. Strain, reserving juices and cool. Remove mussels from shells, discard shells and unopened mussels. Strain juices through a muslin-lined sieve. You will need 200ml. Refrigerate mussels and juice until needed.
  • 02
  • Using a large cleaver, halve snapper heads. Coarsely chop 1 bulb of fennel, 1 stalk of celery, 3 spring onions and carrot. Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add fish heads, vegetables and garlic, sauté for 10 minutes or until soft, add Noilly Prat, cook until almost evaporated. Add remaining wine, cook for 5 minutes or until evaporated, add chicken stock, 1 litre of water, reserved mussel juice, a pinch of saffron and thyme. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer for 1 hour. Strain through a muslin-lined sieve into a saucepan. Discard solids.
  • 03
  • Heat stock over medium heat, bring to the boil, cook for 30 minutes or until reduced by half. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Finely chop remaining large baby fennel, celery and spring onion. Add vegetables, tomatoes, small baby fennel and remaining saffron to stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Add snapper fillets, cook for 4 minutes or until cooked through, add mussels and cook for another minute or until heated through. To serve, place a snapper fillet in each serving bowl, top with mussels, then ladle over soup and vegetables and scatter with reserved fennel fronds and herbs. Serve with crusty bread and aïoli if desired.
Note Small baby fennel is available from select delicatessens.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
a Heilala Vanilla prize pack!

Win one of 16 Deluxe Bakers Tins prize packs from Heilala Vanilla valued at $120 each!

Read More
a premium drinks pack!

Win one of three Premium Drinks Packs valued at more than $550 each. Find out how here.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

You might also like...

Adriano Zumbo's Christmas recipes


Christmas pudding ice-cream

Holiday entertaining recipes


Raspberry and Mint Mojito

David Thompson's Thai recipes


Neil Perry: Prawn cocktail

Strawberry recipes


Serge Dansereau: Blueberry vanilla tart

Longrain recipes


Barbecue trout bundles with prosciutto and button mushrooms

Barbecue recipes


Serge Dansereau: Homemade lemonade

Fast spring recipes


Serge Danserau: Duck confit and potato terrine

Chorizo recipes


conversion tool

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.