Catalan Fish Stew

Updated February 23, 2016

Toasted almonds give an unusual and very compatible nutty flavor to this fish stew. It is one of my favorites.

4 servings



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFormal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Equipmentblender, food processor

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturegarlicky, nutty, savory

Type of Dishfish soup


  • 1½ cup fish broth or clam juice
  • 8 large clams
  • 1 dozen medium mussels
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 slices French-style bread, ¼ inch thick
  • 12 blanched almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • Few strands saffron
  • Salt
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • 1½ tablespoons flour
  • 2½ pounds fish steaks, preferably of 2 different types—choose from halibut, striped bass, tile fish, or fresh cod—cut in 1½-inch pieces, bone and skin removed
  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons peas
  • Freshly ground pepper


Prepare the fish broth as directed, increasing the water to 1½ cups. Meanwhile, place the clams and mussels in a skillet with ¾ cup water and the lemon slice. Bring to a boil and remove the clams and mussels as they open. Take the clam and mussel meat from the shells and cut the meat in halves. Reserve. Strain the cooking liquid and add to the fish broth.

Place the oil and garlic in a shallow casserole, preferably Spanish earthenware. Heat over a medium flame until the garlic is golden on all sides. Transfer the garlic to a processor or blender. Fry the bread slices in the same oil until golden on both sides and transfer the bread to the processor. Add to the processor the almonds, parsley, saffron, and salt. Grind until a paste forms. Add the paprika, flour, and ¼ cup of the fish broth and beat until smooth.

Gradually pour in the remaining fish broth. Return this mixture to the casserole. Bring to a boil. Add the fish pieces, wine, peas, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer about 12 minutes. Stir in the clam and mussel pieces. Serve in soup bowls, and accompany with a Catalán white wine such as René Barbier.



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