Fennel Soup with Pan-Roasted

Barramundi Fish

Barramundi Fish

Adapted from “Passion for Seafood” by Gordon Ramsey

A fragrant, creamy soup, this contains cubes of pan-fried Barramundi to add flavor and texture. The distinct aniseed flavor of the fennel is cleverly enhanced with a hint of star anise and perfectly contrasts with the delicate taste of the fish. Slices of warm walnut bread make a delicious accompaniment.

Serves 4

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 large bulb fennel, chopped
  • 4 star anise
  • ½ C (100 ml) dry white wine
  • 4 C (1 liter) fish stock (can substitute with chicken broth)
  • ½ C (100 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 7 oz. (200g) Barramundi fillet, skinned and cut into ½ inch (1cm) cubes
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


In a large saucepan, heat half the olive oil, then gently sauté the shallot and fennel with the star anise for about ten minutes until softened but not colored. Pour in the wine and cook for about five minutes until well reduced and almost syrupy. Pour in the stock, season and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat. Simmer gently for about 25 minutes.

Remove the star anise and stir in the cream. Simmer uncovered, for about three minutes. Pour into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Pass the purée through a sieve set over a bowl, rubbing with the back of a ladle or a wooden spoon. Pour back into the pan and season to taste. Stir in the dill. Reheat the soup gently, if necessary, and keep warm.

In a non-stick frying pan, heat the remaining oil until it just starts to smoke. Cook the cubes of Barramundi without stirring, until golden brown on the base. Carefully turn them over and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes to brown. Take care not to overcook. Season the fish lightly.

Ladle the soup in four warmed soup plates and spoon the browned cubes of Barramundi into the center. Serve immediately.

Note: Barramundi can be used in any recipe calling for a white fish such as cod, bass or haddock, or tropical fish such as red snapper, which it very much resembles.

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