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  • 4 to 6
  • Easy
  • Dairy free
  • 30 minutes
  • 1 hour
  • Woolworths Spier Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2019


  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped (or 2 leeks)
  • 1–2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a strip lemon peel
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups fish stock
  • 800 g–1 kg sustainable white fish, skinned and filleted
  • parsley, finely chopped, for sprinkling
  • steamed baby potatoes, for serving
  • For the aïoli:
  • 2 free-range egg yolks, at room temperature
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice, strained
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2–3 large cloves garlic, crushed

Cooking Instructions

1. In a large sauté pan with a lid, gently soften the onion, fennel or leeks and celery in the olive oil, adding a little more if necessary. They should be very soft but still pale. Stir in the garlic and a little seasoning. Add the bay leaf, lemon peel and wine and allow to bubble for a few minutes. Pour in the fish stock. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

2. Add the fish, cover and poach for 5 minutes, or until just cooked. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside.

3. To make the aïoli, blend or process the egg yolks with the seasoning and lemon juice. Gradually add enough oil to make a thick, creamy mayonnaise. Stir in the garlic and check the seasoning.

4. Whisk ½ cup of the fish poaching liquid with ½ cup aïoli. Add to the remaining broth and whisk until slightly thickened.

5. Return the fish to the pan and gently heat through. Check the seasoning. Serve the fish and broth sprinkled with parsley, with the baby potatoes and remaining aïoli on the side.

Cook's note: This is my take on the famous fish stew from Marseilles. Rich, garlicky aïoli is stirred into the broth to enrich and thicken it. Like the French do, I serve extra aïoli on the side.

Photographs: Toby Murphy
Production: Brita Du Plessis
Food assistant: Nicola Naude

Phillippa Cheifitz Recipe by: Phillippa Cheifitz
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Regular TASTE contributor Phillippa is a well-known South African author and food writer, and has won many awards, both for her magazine features and her cookbooks.

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