100ml/3½fl oz olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, peeled, finely chopped
1 bulb fennel, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, trimmed and finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
pinch saffron, ground to a powder in a mortar and pestle
500g/1lb 2oz gurnard, skin removed, pin bones removed, flesh chopped into small pieces
500g/1lb 2oz grey mullet, skin removed, pin bones removed, flesh chopped into small pieces
300g/10½oz tomatoes, seeds removed, flesh chopped
300ml/10½fl oz dry white wine, boiled for 30 seconds
1.2 litres/2 pints cold water
4 pinches coarse sea salt
3 pinches cayenne pepper
1 tbsp Pastis
30 toasted croutons
100g/3½oz Gruyère cheese, grated
For the aïoli sauce, in a bowl, mix together the egg yolks, garlic and salt until well combined.
Add the olive oil in a steady stream until all of the oil is incorporated into the mixture and the mixture has thickened. If the sauce is too stiff, add a few drops of warm water to loosen it.
Whisk in the lemon juice and cayenne pepper, to taste.
For the fish soup, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the onions, fennel, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme sprigs and bay leaf and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring well, until the vegetables have softened.
Add the saffron and stir well, then add the fish pieces and stir again. Continue to cook for a further 4-5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, boiled white wine and water and season, to taste, with the sea salt and cayenne pepper.
Add the Pastis, then bring the mixture to the boil and boil for 2-3 mins. Skim any foam off the surface of the water, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Srain the soup through a fine sieve or blend in a food processor to a rough purée, according to your taste.
To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls and sprinkle a few croutons and a small handful of the Gruyère cheese over each. Serve the aïoli sauce in separate serving dishes.
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