1 onion, finely sliced
1 stick celery, finely sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato purée
400g good-quality tinned chopped tomatoes
Small pinch cayenne pepper
250g mixed fish (at The Hive Beach Cafe, we use coley, smoked haddock and salmon), roughly chopped
The most famous dish at the Hive Beach Cafe (in Burton Bradstock, West Dorset), our seafood soup has been on the menu since Day One, and it's every bit as popular with our customers today as it was back then – especially when the weather is cold outside and they've just completed a long, blustery walk along the beach.
As winter warmers go, this delicious combination of fresh and smoked fish, tomatoes and herbs, served with warm crusty bread, simply can't be beaten. People have come from far and wide to sample it, and will – we're sure – continue to do so for years to come.
Sweat the onion and celery in a large pan with a knob of butter and a drizzle of olive oil until soft. Add the thyme, oregano and bay leaves and cook for around 1 minute.
Put in the tomato purée and cook for another couple of minutes, then pour in the tomatoes and cayenne pepper (feel free to add another pinch or two if you like your soup spicy), and bring up to a gentle simmer.
Add the mixed fish to the pan and bring it back to a simmer, until the fish has cooked through. If the soup is too thick, simply add a little water.
Check for seasoning, then serve hot with plenty of warm crusty bread.
Taken from 'The Hive Beach Café Cookbook', edited by Rufus Purdy (Bristlebird Books, £16.99, hivecook book.co.uk). Photograph by Graham Whiffen