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Seafood and Orzo Soup

I picked up the Hamlyn 200 Italian Favourites by Marina Filippelli at a car boot sale recently (for 20p!) and within minutes of arriving back home had defrosted a kilo of fish in order to make Seafood & Fregola Soup. I had orzo rather than fregola on that first making and it’s so nice (and cheaper!) that I’ve continued to use it.

Not only is this soup stupidly easy to make and freeze, it’s become a huge favourite for both the adults and children in this family.

Makes: 4 generous servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Freezable: Yes


  • 3 pints (1.5 litres, 7 cups) chicken, vegetable or fish stock (I use Knorr Chicken Stockpots because I find fish stock too salty)
  • 8 oz dried orzo or other dried small pasta shape such as fregola, sterrene
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 20-30 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 6 (1 small tin) anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes or 1-2 teaspoons fresh chillis, finely chopped
  • 1 small bottle (6 tablespoons) dry white wine
  • 2 to 3lb of fish – the original recipe suggested:
    • 1 lb mussels, cleaned
    • 12 oz clams, cleaned
    • 10 oz squid rings
    • 12 raw shelled jumbo shrimp
  • But I use whatever fish is in the freezer/cheap at the supermarket that week. This is what I typically use (and I’ll add extra cherry tomatoes and a large handful of frozen peas to make up any shortfall):
    • 1lb mussel meat (much cheaper without shells, especially from the freezer section)
    • 1lb “fish pie mix” (smoked haddock, salmon, cod)
    • 8oz prawns
    • 12 jumbo prawns
  • 4 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley or a good helping of dried parsely from the store cupboard
  • salt and pepper (optional, depends on stock used)


  • Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan, add the pasta and cook for 14–16 minutes, or according to the package instructions, until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over a low heat.
  • Add the tomatoes, garlic, anchovies & chilli and cook for 5 minutes, or until the anchovies have melted into the pan and you can smell the aroma of the garlic.
  • Pour in the wine, bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute.
  • Add all the seafood and cook, stirring, for 4–5 minutes until the mussels and clams have opened. Discard any that remain closed.
  • Tip the seafood mixture into the pan with the pasta.
  • Add the parsley, season with salt, if necessary, and stir well.
  • Serve immediately, with a slab of crusty bread if you’re really hungry.


The photo I’ve used is of a lovely sounding bouillabaisse by Stijn Nieuwendijk, I’ll post a translation as soon as I’ve made it.

1 person likes this recipe so far, you too?

4 responses to “Seafood and Orzo Soup”

  1. Kirstie says:

    It was lovely meeting you yesterday, many thanks for the books and tea, hope we can do it again soon.

  2. […] to follow). Thursday: Moroccan meatballs with creamy mash and brocolli (recipe to follow). Friday: Seafood and Orzo soup with chunky wholemeal bread. Saturday: Leftover Moroccan meatballs with pasta and garlic bread. […]

  3. Hi Kirstie – it was a pleasure to meet you too. I hope the books and magazines will be of use to you and the team, will let you know as soon as I’ve got another batch. Any excuse for more tea and biscuits!

  4. […] use up a pack of (delicious) Sainsbury naan bread. Tuesday: Leftover oven baked risotto. Wednesday: Seafood and Orzo soup with chunky wholemeal bread. Thursday: Moroccan meatballs (from the freezer) with pasta and garlic […]

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