Exotic Shellfish and Saffron Soup


1 tsp coriander seeds, ground

1 tsp cumin seeds, ground

1 tsp turmeric, ground

1 tsp chilli powder

½ tsp ginger powder

½ tsp saffron

2 – 4 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

1 leek, white part only finely sliced

1 – 2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 small fennel bulbs, halved

½ cup white wine

½ litre fish stock

1 tsp fresh thyme sprigs

1 can whole, peeled tomatoes, pureed (optional)

16 black mussels

2 blue swimmer crabs, cleaned

8 green prawns, peeled and deveined with tails on

Sea salt (maybe)

1 lemon, quartered

½ cup Italian parsley leaves



Put the coriander and cumin seeds in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and whiz or pound until ground. The stir in the chilli, turmeric and chilli.

Next put the oil in a large pot and slowly fry the onion and leek until soft, then add the garlic. Now add the fennel and allow to brown slightly on both sides, then add the wine, stock, tomatoes and thyme. Allow to simmer for about 5 min, to reduce a little, then toss in the mussels and crabs. Let the mussels open up, about 5 minutes. Pull the crab out and take the meat out. (Or leave in the shells) Just before serving add the prawns and the crab meat.  Taste for seasoning. Serve with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.