ELO Wembley- Bouillabaisse

This weekend I chose The Electric Light Orchestra over Glastonbury, setting me on a middle-aged byway, where signposts were sure to lead to neighbourhood watch schemes, walk in shower units, narrow boat holidays in Wales, and a desire to find the quickest route when travelling by car.

As far as the latter was concerned, my passage home had to be planned with meticulous precision on the morning of the show, involving a drive to Wembley with a racing bicycle attached the roof-rack, collecting tickets, parking on a nearby industrial estate, before cycling home.

A black cab delivered me back to the stadium eight hours later to join what looked like the caravan club of Great Britain’s AGM. Men in double-denim outfits, enjoying pale ale, dad-danced their way through a sublime musical catalogue of strange magic, reaching a collective state of melodic Xanadu.

Founder member Jeff Lynn was accompanied by an orchestra of flawless talent, delivering a two-hour wall to wall set of hits, which was without doubt the best gig I’ve ever attended.

There was no last train to London for me……If my logistical planning was an Ofstead report it would have been outstanding; home within sixteen minutes of final tune Mr. Blue Sky, and no mention of politics throughout the concert; perhaps it was at the coolest rock show of the weekend after all!

A few years ago I produced a book called “In other news…Recipes”, based on my blog recipes; this week we’ve a large law firm coming; their event organiser Jemma ordered a copy for all attending; I asked if I could include a recipe in this weeks blog contribution, and fish soup below was requested.


1x diced onion, 1x diced fennel, 1x diced clove garlic, 1x sliced leek, 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp. fennel seeds, 1x tsp. coriander seeds, and 1x large pinch of saffron. 2 small red mullet (retain both bones and fillets), 2x small monkfish tales (retain both bones and fillets), 1 large glass of dry sauvignon blanc, 200g chopped tomatoes (tinned is fine), 1.5 L fish stock, juice of 1 lemon, Tabasco sauce, 80g cleaned and de-bearded mussels, 2x Large Tiger Prawns, seasoning, A sprig of fresh dill.

Sweat off the onion, fennel, garlic, and leek in olive oil until soft; add the coriander/fennel seeds and saffron, cook for a further 2 minutes. Now include the fish bones, de-glaze the pan with a glass of white wine, and cook with the lid on for another 2 minutes. Next add the chopped tomatoes and fish stock. Bring to the boil rapidly, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.

Blend the soup and pass through a sieve; squeeze in the lemon juice and add tobacco to taste. Return content back to a pan bringing to gentle simmer.

Add the Red Mullet. Monkfish fillets and cook with the lid on for 2 minutes; add the mussels/Tiger prawns, cook for another 2 minutes season to taste, add a sprig of dill and serve.