I like to serve this soup during the winter months as it has a warm kick which we crave at this time of the year thanks to the lovely combination of heat coming from the chilies, the smoky flavour of paprika and the sourness of the lime juice, enhanced by the smell of fresh seafood - it is truly one pot wonder for the body and soul.
You need (for 6-8 people):
800 gr of seafood marinara (see Hot Tip)
3 tbs of olive oil
1 large brown onion, peeled and cubed
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
2X400 g cans of peeled and chopped tomatoes
1 L of chicken or fish stock
2 tsp of smoked paprika
1 tsp of sweet paprika
Chili flakes as many or as little as you like
1-2 tsp of brown sugar
juice of half a lime
2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs of flat leaf parsley finely chopped
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 packet of flat bread
Optional:Thicken the soup by adding a can of lentils or any of your favourite beans to turn it into a meal.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onions and garlic but do not let them go brown, add all the ingredients except for the marinara, bring to the boil and let the soup simmer for about 10-15 minutes for the flavours to fully develop. Give it a taste bearing in mind that the soup should have a distinctive taste from the heat, sourness and sweetness, so adjust the ingredients accordingly to maintain the perfect balance. Add more sugar and sweet paprika, if the sourness is over-powering or more lime juice if not sour enough. Also, the heat of the soup can be controlled by adding small amounts of chili flakes until you reach the degree of heat that suits your taste buds.
Once you are happy with the taste, gently submerge the seafood into the pot. After cooking for about 5 minutes, check if it is ready. Stir in parsley and serve.
Instead of regular bread, I use flat bread which I brush with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, then slice into strips about 2 cm thick and grill in the oven until crispy and golden brown. These strips could be served with other soups such as my Pumpkin Soup and Lentil Soup.
Hot Tip: I find the combination of fish, calamari, octopus and mussels is ideal; all of the ingredients are cut to the same size, cleaned and ready to cook).