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Spanish Fish Stew with an Almond Crumb

This simple little stew is utterly delicious! The addition of the almond crumb (toasted and chopped almonds tossed with sweet smoked paprika) elevates a cozy supper dish to something more glamorous and interesting. Make it your own by using your favorite fish or add some shellfish for more body. Either way, the saffron and fennel-laced, tomato-y broth will make it all taste wonderful!

Spanish Fish Stew with an Almond Crumb

4 tbs. olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
2 tsp. fennel seeds, roughly ground
1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
2 good pinches saffron
2 garlic cloves, sliced
28 oz. canned plum tomatoes
2 cups fish stock or water
2½ lbs. new potatoes, cut into large chunks
1¼ lbs. cod, cut into large chunks
scant ¾ cup blanched almonds, toasted and chopped
1 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
chopped fresh parsley, to serve

Put a large casserole over a high heat and, when hot, add the oil. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, fennel, fennel seeds, chili, and saffron. Cover and sweat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 5 minutes more.

Put in the tomatoes, crushing them with a wooden spoon, then pour in the stock or water, add the potatoes and season generously. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the fish pieces and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until cooked through.

Toss the almonds with the paprika. Spoon the stew into large bowls, then sprinkle with the almonds and parsley to serve.

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