Shellfish nage with baby vegetables

This special seafood soup is full of langoustine, lobster, mussels, clams and scallops – a real treat!


  • 75g/3oz butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cooked lobster, meat removed, shells chopped and reserved
  • 12 cooked langoustines, shell removed and chopped
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 75ml/3fl oz white wine
  • 300ml/10fl oz chicken stock
  • 75ml/2½fl oz double cream
  • 400g/14oz clams, or cockles
  • 400g/14oz mussels, cleaned, beards removed (discard any mussels that remain open after rinsing)
  • 8 baby turnips, trimmed, halved top to bottom
  • 12 baby carrots, trimmed
  • 8 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 3 scallops, cleaned, roe removed
  • 3 handfuls sea purslane, blanched
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh chervil

Preparation method

  1. Heat a large frying pan until hot, add half the butter, the onion, carrot and thyme and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until just softened but not coloured.

  2. Add the lobster and langoustine shells, cayenne pepper and tomato purée and cook for one minute.

  3. Add the white wine and flambé the liquid by slowly tilting the pan towards the gas flame to set alight, or lighting it with a match. Let the flames flare up then die down. (Caution: keep your face and hair away from the flames. Do not leave unattended.)

  4. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes.

  5. Blend the mixture in a food processor to a purée.

  6. Press the mixture through a fine sieve into a saucepan, whisk in the cream and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  7. Add the clams and mussels and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until all of the clams and mussels have opened. (Discard any clams or mussels that do not open fully.)

  8. Cook the turnips and carrots in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes, then add the asparagus, and boil for a further minute. Drain and pat dry.

  9. Heat a frying pan until hot, add half the remaining butter and fry the vegetables for 1-2 minutes, or until pale golden-brown.

  10. Heat another frying pan, add the remaining butter and fry the scallops, lobster meat and langoustine meat for about 1-2 minutes on each side.

  11. To serve, spoon the fish and bisque into a bowl. Top with a few pieces of lobster and langoustine, add some of the vegetables and sprinkle with sea purslane and chervil.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

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