Spanish style white fish and orange stew

Serves 4 Cook in 45 minutes


  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small red chilli (not too spicy)
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika (mild)
  • ½ tbsp fennel seeds, ground in a pestle and mortar
  • A small sprig of thyme Zest and juice of two oranges
  • Glass of white wine 500ml passata
  • 1l fish or vegetable stock
  • 200g cherry tomatoes or quartered regular tomatoes
  • 400g (one standard size tin) butter beans
  • 500g white fish fillet according to availability – chopped into inch size chunks
  • Other seafood – optional and according to season
  • Handful of parsley


Finely chop the onion, celery, garlic and chilli. Slice the fennel and pepper into 1/3 inch slices.

Sweat the onion and celery over a low to medium heat until soft and translucent – about 5 or 10 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute or so.

Add the fennel, pepper, bay leaf, paprika, fennel seeds, thyme and orange zest. Stir until the vegetables are coated in the spices and everything is hot.

Turn up the heat and add a small glass of white wine. Reduce until about half the volume.

Add the passata and fish stock and bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down to low/medium. Add the fresh tomatoes and let simmer until the vegetables are soft and the liquid is slightly reduced. Add the rinsed beans and taste for salt, pepper and spice. If you think it needs it, add more paprika, fennel seeds or orange zest. If it seems too thick add the remaining fish stock.

Once you are happy with the flavour (and have set the table and done everything else you need to do before eating), add the fish and any other seafood you are using. The fish will cook in a matter of minutes, keep checking it and turn the heat off just before you think it’s ready. If you are using mussels or cockles these need to open.

Fish out the thyme sprig and bay leaves. Finish off by stirring in the orange juice and scatter over the chopped parsley. Serve with bread, rice or potatoes to mop up the juices.

Spanish style white fish and orange stew [pdf download]