This fish soup of Flanders and the low countries is now defined by choice, with both fish and vegetables. Originally made with eel and freshwater fish like carp and pike, it is now not unusual to see brill, carp, cod, eel, hake, halibut, lobster, mussels, perch, pike, plaice, prawns, sole, turbot and whiting in this soup in various idiosyncratic assortments. Carrots, celery and leek are the traditional choice of vegetable. Sometimes made with herbs (sage and thyme), and with cream, egg and flour to thicken.

  • 800 g mix of filleted fish, cut into bite-sized pieces, and shell fish
  • 750 ml fish broth
  • 400 g leek, white part, sliced thin
  • 250 ml white wine
  • 120 g celery, chopped
  • 25 g parsley root
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 3 sage leaves
  • Seasonings
  • Bread
  • Butter

Add the herbs and vegetables to a pot containing the broth and wine. Bring slowly to the boil, then simmer until the vegetables are cooked, season, and add lemon juice. Preheat oven and warm wide soup bowls. Add the fish from the fillets, cook for five minutes over a medium heat. Add shell fish, turn heat off, cover. Garnish with parsley, serve with warmed or toasted bread, and butter.