Riverford Wicked Leeks
Spanish Fish Stew with Fennel, Red Peppers & Saffron recipe image

Print Spanish Fish Stew with Fennel, Red Peppers & Saffron

Fennel’s light aniseed flavour is a perfect partner to fish. When cooked down it is mild and sweet, nothing like the pronounced liquorice taste you get when using fennel seeds.

Fish cooks very quickly when diced, so it doesn’t need to be added until the very end. Too long in the liquid and it goes tough. If you are in any doubt as to whether it is done, gently press a piece against the edge of the pan; it should flake easily and be opaque through to the middle.


Fish recipes  


  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100ml white wine
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml vegetable or fish stock
  • Small bunch of parsley
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 300g diced white fish


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in large saucepan. Fry the fennel and pepper for 10 minutes over a medium heat, until starting to soften. Let them take on some colour but add a dash of water if they look like catching.
  2. Add the garlic, saffron, bay leaf, paprika and tomato purée to the pan. Cook for 1 minute before adding the wine. Let it bubble away until reduced by half. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and stock. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. While the stew cooks, finely chop the parsley with the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Lightly season the fish with salt and pepper.
  4. When the stew is ready, taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the fish to the stew and cook gently for 4-5 minutes, until cooked through.
  5. Divide between 2 bowls and garnish with the parsley and zest. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.
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