Fish stew with aioli

A warming fragrant dish and easy to adapt to whatever fish you can get your hands on. Serves 6 - 8


    2 onions, chopped 
    4 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 fennel, chopped 
    2 celery sticks, chopped 
    small bunch thyme 
    2 tsp fennel seeds 
    1 tsp chilli flakes 
    1 headed tsp smoked paprika 
    pinch saffron 
    500g new potatoes, chopped into chunks 
    2 x tins chopped tomatoes 
    2 x glass white wine 
    800ml fish stock 
    Juice 1 lemon 
    600g smoked haddock, skin off 
    1kg mussels, cleaned 
    600g sea bass fillet 
    chopped parsley and tarragon for finishing 


1. Heat a dash of oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, garlic, fennel and celery and saute for about 10 minutes till soft and starting to caramelise. 
2. Add the thyme, fennel seeds, smoked paprika, saffron and stir then add the tinned tomatoes, wine, stock and potatoes and simmer for about 20 minutes will potatoes are cooked. 
3. Meanwhile slice the sea bass fillets either in half or into thirds. Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the sea bass for a couple of minutes on either side, take off and keep warm till ready to serve. 
4. Chop the smoked haddock into chunks and add the the stew along with the mussels. Place a lid on the pan and cook for about 5 minutes till all the shells have opened (discard any which are closed). 
5. Squeeze over the lemon juice, season and scatter with chopped parsley and tarragon. Divide between bowls and place on top a couple of slices of the sea bass and a good dollop of aioli. Serve with charred sourdough.