300g fish steak (red snapper, grouper, cod or any other white fish)
300g-400g medium or large prawns
1tbsp lemon juice*
2pcs thinly pared lemon rind
6 black peppercorns
2tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 rib celery, cut into 0.25cm
1 small carrot, cut into 0.25cm
2 large, ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into 0.5cm cube
Garnish: chopped fresh herbs such parsley, dill or chives
* Or a good splash of dry white wine, if you have some handy.
Carefully debone and skin the fish, cut flesh into 0.5cm slices. Remove heads from prawns but do not shell. Using a sharp knife, devein prawns and split them lengthwise, without actually cutting right through. Cover fish slices and prawns with cling film and refrigerate for later use.
Rinse fish bones and prawn heads. Crush the prawn heads lightly with a mallet or the back of your knife to release the flavours into the stock. Place bones and prawn shells in a small pan with the lemon juice (or wine), lemon rind, peppercorns and water. For flavour, throw in slices of onion, celery and carrot (taken from the ones you´re preparing for the main soup). Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Strain and discard solids.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute onion, garlic, celery and carrot until translucent - do not brown. Add tomatoes, saute for a couple more minutes before pouring in the strained stock. Simmer for 15 minutes. (Soup can be prepared up to this stage several hours ahead of time.)
Just before you are ready to eat, bring soup to boil and add prawns, cooking for several minutes until they feel firm to the touch and turn pink. Next, add the fish slices and avoid stirring too much as that will break up the slices. Poach fish only for a minute or two - to retain its lovely smooth texture. Avoid overcooking as this absolutely ruins this soup!
Serve immediately in large, deep soup bowls, garnished with chopped herbs. Great with fresh, crusty bread.