Jamie Oliver’s Fish Stew

Serves: 4. Ready in 45 minutes.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly diced
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1 b new red potatoes, diced
  • 2 small carrots, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 c diced tomatoes (1/2 can)
  • 4 c vegetable stock
  • 1 lb salmon filet, cut in 1-1.5in chunks
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon
  • 1/4 c dill, chopped
  • 1/4 c flat parsley, chopped
  1. Heat olive oil in stock pot or large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions (plus a 1/4 tsp of salt to help them release some juices) and sweat for 5 minutes, until soft but not brown. Add garlic. Cook and stir another 3 minutes.
  2. Add potatoes, carrots, bay leaves, tomatoes, and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are mostly cooked.
  3. Add the chunks of fish and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the fish is cooked through (easily flakes apart).
  4. Add the chopped herbs and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice (about a tablespoon or to taste).
  5. Taste and add more salt, pepper, lemon or herbs as desired. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread or a baguette.

TTA (Tips, tricks, alternatives)

I definitely just stole this recipe from Jamie Oliver and adapted it to my taste/availability. You could definitely make more adjustments to this super easy, but delicious stew. It would also easily double to feed a crowd.

For one thing, you can use any fish you like/have/can find/is cheap. The salmon holds up well in the broth and doesn’t turn to fish flakes like a more delicate white fish might (cod, tilapia, snapper). Something like swordfish or halibut would also hold up well if you’re feeling splurge-y. Maybe throw in some clams or mussels if you’re feeling adventurous!

The original recipe called for celery, which I didn’t have because I only ever eat it in soups. So I just threw in some carrot instead. You could use both or neither or add more veggies if you want even heartier stew. Or make it vegan and replace the fish with just veggies (zucchini or other squashes, bell peppers, asparagus, peas, even lentils, beans, or tofu!).

For the potatoes, I love using new potatoes in stew and soup because you can just clean and chop them and leave the skin on. It’s rustic, easy, and nutritious! Feel free to experiment with your potatoes though. There is all sorts of advice about when to use what sort of potato in what dish (waxy vs starchy etc), but I love all potatoes and think it’s better to use the “wrong” potatoes in your soup, than none at all! Maybe you’ll find you like the slightly disintegrated texture of starchy potatoes thickening your stew (if you don’t, just cook them for less time!), or that you only want to use red potatoes with their skin on in everything from now on. Maybe you’ll think I’m crazy for being spud obsessed and you’ll replace potatoes with beans because that’s what you have and I’ll be sad but we’ll all live to cook another day.

I’m not a huge tomato fan, so I only used half a can of diced tomatoes in the stew, but you could use the whole can or use diced fresh tomatoes. Honestly, I prefer canned tomatoes in stews because I feel like it gives you a head start on that slow cooked, simmered for hours, rich “stew-y” flavor I’m usually going for, but this soup also has a great freshness to it, so you do you on the tomatoes.

As for the stock, use the best quality you can get your hands on. If you can make your own, that’s ideal. I also really like the Better than Bouillon brand of stock concentrates. But this time I actually just used some generic powdered vegetable bouillon that was in my cupboard and it turned out just fine. If you are using a bouillon mix, go light at first. You can always add more if your broth is a little weak at the end, but these things can be heavy on the salt, so better safe than salty.

Finally, do NOT skimp on the fresh herbs. Repeat after me “Dry herbs will not do!” If you’re looking for that little extra something that takes your soup from meh to WOW, fresh herbs is it! They add freshness and loads of flavor, and they stand out in a way that dry herbs do not. (Dry herbs are like the chorus line – they add depth and fullness to your soup but you can’t really put your finger on their specific flavor. Fresh herbs are straight prima donna – in your face deliciousness that anyone you serve it to can’t help but notice.)

Story time

I anticipate story time being a lot of me complaining about how I cannot find things in the grocery store for the next little bit. You see, I just moved from the US to Germany, and between not knowing how to read the German labels, and not knowing where to look for what I want in a German grocery store, grocery shopping has gone from inspirational to an endless source of frustration.

Real talk on why there’s no celery in my soup? They don’t sell it in individual stalks like they do in the US (at least I couldn’t find it), and like I said, I only use celery for soup. So I passed on the celery and bought individual carrots instead. I suppose you can guess why I used cheapo powdered bouillon now also. (No offense to any of y’all who like it – it does the job and has it’s place – I’m just a food snob.)

Also, I did not realize that when I bought my salmon filet, it would come complete with skin and scales. Considering I don’t have a fish knife or any butchering skills, I think I did a respectable job of separating meat from skin. Sorry I don’t have any photos of this triumph in progress.

I’m sure there will also be much lamenting having to cook in someone else’s kitchen, since I’m currently subletting a furnished apartment.

More Photos

Not sure if you can tell the scale of this pot from the spatula, but it is most definitely not a stock pot. It’s more of a cross-your-fingers-all-the-ingredients-fit-in-here pot.

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