White fish stew with orange and fennel: The Fast Diet

Fish stew

Fish stew - Credit: Romas Foord

Calorie count: 268

Greek legend has it that a fennel stalk carried the coal that passed down knowledge from the gods to men.

I couldn’t possibly say, but I do know that this marriage of fennel, firm fish and zingy orange verges on the divine.


Serves four:

For the fish stock:

500g fish off cuts (no oily fish) plus any bones

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1 onion, quartered

1 celery stalk

trimmings of fennel bulb (see stew ingredients)

1 tbsp peppercorns

For the stew:

2 tbsps olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1 tsp coriander seeds

250ml fish stock

1 orange – juice and 2 strips of peel

1 400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 bay leaves

½ tsp herbes de Provence or tarragon

pinch of saffron

salt and pepper

750g white fish fillet, such as pollock, monkfish or halibut

8 tiger prawns, shells on

fresh parsley


1 To make your own stock, put fish off-cuts (if buying filleted fish, ask for the bones – you can freeze them for later use) in a deep pan.

2 Add the onion, celery, fennel trimmings and peppercorns and cover with water.

3 Simmer for about 45 minutes and strain, removing any froth.

4 For the stew, heat oil in a large non-stick saucepan and gently fry the onion, fennel, garlic and coriander seeds for 15 minutes, until tender.

5 Add fish stock, orange juice, orange peel and tomatoes, and add a tomato tin of cold water.

6 Add bay leaves, herbs and saffron.

Season and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

7 Add fish, monkfish first if using, prawns last.

8 Cover and cook for a further 4 minutes until fish and prawns are cooked through.

9 Serve piping hot and scattered with fresh parsley.

Note: A good stock is the backbone here – full of minerals, full of flavour