Meals and Courses

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • ½ red pepper, cored, deseeded and diced
  • 425 g (14 oz) tomatoes, skinned if liked, roughly chopped
  • large thyme sprig
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons tomato purée
  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) vegetable or fish stock (see page 13)
  • 40 g (1½ oz) long-grain rice
  • 400 g (13 oz) pack frozen seafood selection, defrosted, rinsed with cold water and drained
  • 43 g (1½ oz) can dressed crab
  • 75 g (3 oz) okra, trimmed, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • few extra thyme leaves, to garnish (optional)

Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened and just beginning to brown. Stir in the carrot, celery and red pepper and fry for a few more minutes. Mix in the tomatoes, thyme, chilli and tomato purée, then pour in the stock. Add the rice, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Halve any very large mussels, then stir into the soup with the remaining seafood, canned crab and okra. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with a few thyme leaves, if liked. Serve with crusty bread.

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