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Recipe from episode 3

Steven’s fish broth

This is a pleasingly frugal recipe. You can buy an inexpensive fresh fish, such as gurnard or grey mullet, get the fishmonger to fillet it for you, then use the head, skin and bones to make a flavourful stock. The broth is enhanced with a few herbs and vegetables, the fish flesh goes in at the end. As a finishing touch, you can add a swirl of garlicky, chilli-hot rouille, though I have to say, the soup is delicious even without it, or croûtons, made from leftover bread for added crunch.

Serves 4

Skin, head and bones from 1 medium, firm-fleshed fish
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, sliced
A sprig of thyme 1 bay leaf
Stalks from a bunch of parsley and/or lovage, leaves reserved
A few black peppercorns
A splash of white wine
1 lemon, zest and a squeeze of juice

First, make a simple fish stock: put the fish head, skin and bones in a saucepan with all the ingredients for the stock. Add 1 litre of cold water and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook very gently for half an hour; do not allow it to boil hard, as this spoils the flavour. Strain the stock, discarding the fish skin, head, bones and vegetables.

Season well and add in any bits of fish flesh to the broth along with some freshly chopped parsley and lovage leaves (and any other seasonal herbs you might have to hand), along with some lemon zest and a squeeze of juice, to taste.

More River Cottage fish dishes

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You will be introduced to varieties of fish seasonally available, updated on current sustainability guidelines and given advice on how to shop for the freshest fish. You will learn the basics of fish preparation including gutting, scaling and filleting three types of fish – flat, round and oily – with a particular focus on knife skills. And you will learn a variety of techniques including pan-frying, baking and stewing plus creating stocks and broths and a number of delicious recipes.

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