My loose interpretation of a Tunisian fish soup, Chreime. It’s usually made with the day’s catch, and whatever vegetables one has on hand. I’ve used fish and prawns in this one, but I think it would be great with mussels too!
For fish, my go-to is always Kuhlbarra’s barramundi – the flesh is tender, silky, and flavourful. I even keep the skin on!
I love using harissa paste in my cooking – it adds spice and a lovely deep colour! In Singapore, I get mine at Elite Kosher, a supermarket found on the 2nd floor of the Jacob Ballas Centre at Waterloo Street. It’s about the size of a convenience store, but it carries an eclectic mix of products (biscuits, sauces, wines, sweets, meat, etc). I get my tahini there too.
This dish goes well with a side of tabouleh salad and couscous!
2 tbsp olive oil
½ yellow onion, sliced
100g fennel (or celery)
½ red capsicum, sliced
3 garlic, minced
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp harissa paste*
150g small-medium sized potatoes, skin on, quartered
1 bunch coriander, separate stems and leaves
350ml fish or prawn stock
1 can chopped tomatoes
8 olives, pitted
400g white fish (e.g. barramundi)
5 tiger prawns
Handful of flat leaf parsley
Remaining leaves from coriander used earlier
Extra-virgin olive oil
- In a large casserole on medium heat, soften the onion, fennel and capsicum in olive oil until softened.
- Add in the garlic, cumin seeds, and sweet paprika, and sautée for 2 min.
- Stir in the harissa paste and mix well.
- Add in the potatoes, coriander stems, and stock, and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Cover and simmer for about 15 min until potatoes are cooked.
- Add in the canned tomatoes and olives, and leave to simmer for 4-5 min uncovered.
- Add in the seafood, make sure there is enough liquid to cover it. If not, add water as required. Bring it to a boil, covered for 3-4 min until the fish is cooked and the prawns turn pink.
- At this stage, the stew would be quite watery, so remove the seafood and set them aside. Heat the remaining liquid over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the liquid is reduced slightly, and resembles a thick stew.
- Season with salt and pepper as needed, and return the seafood to the pot.
- Squeeze some lemon juice over, and garnish with coriander, parsley, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
- You can use tomato paste and chilli flakes as an alternative to harissa paste.