Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Fish stock

Makes about 1.5ltr

How often is fish stock made at home these days? Not very often, I reckon, but there are so many tasty things that can be made from a few bones and heads. Fish soup, for example, with the addition of just a few extra ingredients, is a great year-round dish and can be stored easily in the freezer. Or you could make a white fish soup like water souchet, salvaging any bits of meat on the bones for a garnish. Here is a simple fish stock that can be used for the base of fish soups – or just kept in the freezer for other fishy dishes or sauces.

1kg or so of white fish bones, washed
2 medium leeks, trimmed, roughly chopped and washed
2 medium onions, peeled, halved and roughly chopped
A couple of sticks of celery, roughly chopped
Half a lemon
1tsp fennel seeds
20 black peppercorns
A couple of sprigs of thyme
1 bayleaf
A few parsley stalks

Wash the bones in cold water. Put the bones into a pot with the rest of the ingredients, cover with cold water and bring to the boil; skim off any scum that forms and then simmer for 20 minutes, skimming occasionally.

Strain the stock through a fine-meshed sieve. Check its strength and reduce it if necessary. Leave to cool.